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California-Blend Gasoline Tumbles to Two-Week Low on Unit Starts

California-blend gasoline tumbled to a two-week low against futures after Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Tesoro Corp. finished refinery maintenance and BP Plc started a crude unit at the Cherry Point plant.

Tesoro’s Los Angeles refinery started a hydrotreater following a week of repairs, and Shell finished work at the 158,000-barrel-a-day Martinez refinery in Northern California. BP is starting a crude unit at Cherry Point in Washington that’s expected to resume service later this week, a person familiar with operations there said.

California-blend gasoline, or Carbob, in Los Angeles dropped 26.5 cents to a premium of 27 cents a gallon against futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 12:31 p.m. East Coast time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the lowest level for the fuel since April 30.

San Francisco Carbob declined 29.5 cents to 27 cents above gasoline futures.

Shell, based in The Hague, has finished planned work at the Martinez refinery, Emily Oberton, a company spokeswoman in Houston, said in an e-mail. The plant shut a catalytic cracker April 21 for maintenance, a filing with Contra Costa County regulators showed.

Tesoro started a hydrotreater at the 97,000-barrel-a-day Los Angeles refinery over the weekend, a person familiar with the plant’s operations said yesterday. The unit, which removes sulfur, metal and other impurities from oil products, was closed a week ago for maintenance, the person said May 8.

Initial efforts to start the unit at BP’s 234,000-barrel-a-day Cherry Point refinery on May 8 failed when an upset forced the refinery to shut it again, two people familiar with the operation said May 10.

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