San Francisco Gasoline Jumps After Valero Shuts Unit

Spot gasoline in San Francisco gained for a second a day against futures after Valero Energy Corp. said the catalytic cracker at the Benicia refinery in Northern California will be shut for “several days” of work.

Valero’s 170,000-barrel-a-day Benicia plant will keep the fluid catalytic cracker, which upgrades heavy gasoil into gasoline and other lighter products, out of service until compressor repairs are complete, Bill Day, a spokesman at the company’s headquarters in San Antonio, said in an e-mail. The plant flared gases yesterday after a mechanical issue, a notice to the California Emergency Management Agency shows.

California-blend, or Carbob, in San Francisco advanced 3.5 cents to a premium of 9.75 cents a gallon against gasoline futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 4:10 p.m. New York time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the highest level for the fuel in the Bay Area since July 16.

“The Benicia FCC remains shut down and will remain down for several days while repairs to a compressor take place,” Day said in the e-mail.

The same fuel in Los Angeles gained 3.25 cents to 9.75 cents a gallon above futures.

Exxon Mobil Corp.’s 150,000-barrel-a-day Torrance refinery in Southern California is scheduled to flare gases through tomorrow related to maintenance on a unit, Gesuina Paras, an Exxon spokeswoman in Torrance, said by e-mail yesterday.

Refinery Maintenance

The refinery shut a pretreater earlier this month after a breakdown, a person familiar with operations at the plant said July 13. The unit was included in a maintenance turnaround that also involved work on a hydrogen unit and a coker.

Conventional, 87-octane gasoline in Portland, Oregon, increased 2.75 cents to a discount of 8.75 cents a gallon versus Nymex gasoline futures.

California-blend diesel, or CARB diesel, in San Francisco was unchanged at a premium of 4.5 cents a gallon versus Nymex heating oil futures. CARB diesel in Los Angeles was also unchanged at 5.25 cents a gallon above futures.

Low-sulfur diesel in Portland rose 1.63 cents to 9.13 cents a gallon above heating oil futures.

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