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Gasoline in U.S. Northwest Tumbles After BP Resumes Production

May 21 (Bloomberg) -- Spot gasoline in Portland, Oregon, tumbled to the lowest level against futures in almost two weeks after BP Plc resumed production at the Cherry Point oil refinery in Washington following a three-month shutdown.

BP started output at the 266,000-barrel-a-day Cherry Point refinery late last week, a person familiar with operations said today. The plant had been shut for repairs and maintenance since a fire broke out Feb. 17. BP has said it expects to return the entire refinery to normal rates by the end of the month.

Conventional, 87-octane gasoline in Portland, Oregon, a benchmark for the U.S. Northwest, dropped 6 cents to 51.5 cents a gallon above gasoline futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 4:23 p.m. East Coast time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the lowest premium for the fuel since May 8.

Low-sulfur diesel in Portland tumbled 8 cents to a 25-cent-a-gallon premium over Nymex heating oil futures.

California-blend gasoline, or Carbob, in Los Angeles fell for the third straight day, declining by 1 cent to 17.5 cents a gallon above futures. The fuel’s premium has narrowed 39 cents since May 10 as refineries finish seasonal maintenance and restore supplies in the market.

San Francisco Carbob climbed 0.5 cent to a 14.5-cent-a-gallon premium after falling for six straight days.

Rodeo Refinery

Phillips 66 was flaring sulfur dioxide at the 76,000-barrel-a-day Rodeo refinery in Northern California over the weekend, the Houston-based company said in a notice to the California Emergency Management Agency. Phillips 66 refers to the Rodeo refinery and the Santa Maria plant in Arroyo Grande, California, together as the San Francisco refinery.

Rich Johnson, a company spokesman in Houston, declined to comment on the regulatory filing.

“I can only confirm that there is planned maintenance currently under way at the San Francisco refinery,” he said.

The Rodeo plant shut a hydrocracker in April for six weeks of planned maintenance, two people familiar with the work said April 26.

Johnson also declined to say whether the plant was affected by a power failure that cut electricity to thousands of customers in west Contra Costa County last week.

CARB diesel in Los Angeles, now trading for June delivery, dropped 2.25 cents to 5 cents a gallon above heating oil futures. The same fuel in San Francisco fell 2.5 cents to a 4.5-cent premium.

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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