Los Angeles Gasoline Strengthens to Two-Month High on Shutdowns

California-blend gasoline in Los Angeles advanced to a two-month high against futures on speculation that plant equipment shut for work is forcing refiners to buy supplies off the spot market.

Tesoro Corp. is shutting a hydrocracker at the Golden Eagle refinery northeast of San Francisco until around May 21 for planned repairs, a person with direct knowledge of the schedule said today. Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Phillips 66 said they are also performing maintenance on equipment at their Northern California refineries.

California-blend gasoline, or Carbob, in Los Angeles jumped 14.75 cents to a premium of 30 cents a gallon against futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 4:13 p.m. East Coast time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the highest level since Feb. 28.

Tesoro’s Golden Eagle and Kapolei refineries are performing planned maintenance on unspecified units, Tina Barbee, a spokeswoman at the company’s headquarters in San Antonio, said by e-mail. The work won’t “have any impact on Tesoro’s ability to fulfill its regional product supply commitments,” she said.

The 170,000-barrel-a-day Golden Eagle plant is pulling feed from the hydrocracker for work that’s scheduled to begin May 9 and last 10 to 12 days, said the person familiar with the refinery’s operations. The person declined to be identified because the information isn’t public.

Phillips 66

Phillips 66 is scheduled to flare gases through May 3 at the Los Angeles refinery in Southern California, according to a notice to the South Coast Air Quality Management District. The 139,000-barrel-a-day refinery began a maintenance turnaround on the cogeneration plant and catalyst regeneration on a unifier and hydrotreater unit April 20 that was expected to last two weeks, a person with knowledge of the work said April 23.

Rich Johnson, a spokesman at the company’s headquarters in Houston, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail requesting comment on the planned flaring.

San Francisco Carbob jumped 15 cents to 36 cents a gallon above gasoline futures, the highest level since Feb. 24.

California-blend, or CARB, diesel in Los Angeles was unchanged at a premium of 11.75 cents a gallon against Nymex heating oil futures. The same fuel in San Francisco was also unchanged at a premium of 20 cents a gallon versus futures.

Conventional, 87-octane gasoline in Portland, Oregon, a benchmark for the U.S. Northwest, rose 5 cents to 20 cents a gallon above gasoline futures. Low-sulfur diesel there was unchanged at a 25-cent premium to heating oil futures.

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