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California Gasoline Gains for Fifth Day on Exxon Boiler Upset

California-blend gasoline gained for a fifth day after a boiler breakdown at Exxon Mobil Corp.’s Torrance refinery was said to shut process units and a sulfur unit at Phillips 66’s Los Angeles plant was said to lose power.

A feedwater pump failure caused a boiler upset at the 150,000-barrel-a-day Torrance refinery in Southern California, cutting off steam to units, three people familiar with the situation said earlier today. Exxon, based in Irving, Texas, was trying to start the units forced shut, said the people who asked not to be named because the information isn’t public.

Gesuina Paras, an Exxon spokeswoman in Torrance, said in an e-mail that a breakdown in one of the units at the refinery caused the plant to flare gases at about 3:41 a.m. local time. The incident was expected to have “minimal impact to production,” she said.

California-blend gasoline, or Carbob, in Los Angeles jumped 5 cents to 18.5 cents a gallon above futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the highest premium for the fuel since May 29.

Phillips 66’s 139,000-barrel-a-day Los Angeles refinery restored service to a sulfur recovery unit that lost power earlier today, a person with direct knowledge of the plant’s operations said. The electrical failure was isolated, only affecting the sulfur plant, the person said.

San Francisco Carbob strengthened 5.5 cents to trade even with Los Angeles at 18.5 cents a gallon above futures, its highest premium since May 31.

California-blend, or CARB, diesel in Los Angeles was unchanged at a premium of 4.38 cents a gallon against Nymex heating oil futures. San Francisco CARB diesel slipped 0.88 cent to 3.25 cents a gallon above futures.

The discount for conventional, 87-octane gasoline in Portland, Oregon, widened 1 cent to a 6-cent-a-gallon discount versus gasoline futures. Low-sulfur diesel in Portland fell 1 cent to 14 cents a gallon over heating oil futures.

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