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Gasoline in Los Angeles Weakens on Chevron Plant Startup

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May 7 (Bloomberg) -- California-blend gasoline in Los Angeles weakened for the second day after Chevron Corp. reported a plant startup at the El Segundo refinery in Southern California.

Chevron, based in San Ramon, California, reported a plant startup at the 279,000-barrel-a-day El Segundo refinery, a filing with the California Emergency Management Agency showed. The company simultaneously reported unplanned flaring related to a breakdown to the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

California-blend, or Carbob, gasoline in Los Angeles slipped 0.5 cent to 27.5 cents a gallon above futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The premium for the fuel in Los Angeles narrowed 13 cents May 4 on thin trading.

“These are very routine notices and have a very limited impact if at all on the refinery,” Rod Spackman, a Chevron spokesman at the El Segundo refinery, said in a telephone interview. “The refinery is very much alive and well.”

California-blend, or CARB, diesel in Los Angeles rose 0.75 cent to a premium of 10 cents a gallon versus Nymex heating oil futures. The same fuel in San Francisco dropped 1 cent to 17 cents a gallon above futures.

San Francisco Carbob gained 1 cent to a premium of 39 cents above gasoline futures. Phillips 66, Tesoro Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc. are performing maintenance on units at their Northern California refineries.

Conventional, 87-octane gasoline in Portland, Oregon, a benchmark price for the U.S. Northwest, rose 1 cent to 37 cents a gallon above futures. Low-sulfur diesel there was unchanged at 29 cents a gallon over heating oil futures.

BP Plc is starting the 234,000-barrel-a-day Cherry Point refinery in Washington state after shutting the plant in February to repair equipment damaged by a fire and to perform a maintenance turnaround. The refinery is expected to resume operations over the next several days, a person with knowledge of the situation said today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lynn Doan in San Francisco at ldoan6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net

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