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San Francisco Gasoline Jumps After Valero Shuts Unit

Gasoline in San Francisco gained for a fourth day after Valero Energy Corp. said a process unit at the Benicia refinery in Northern California will remain shut until the middle of August.

Valero’s 170,000-barrel-a-day Benicia plant took the fluid catalytic cracker, which upgrades heavy gasoil into gasoline and other lighter products, out of service July 26 to repair a compressor. The company expects to return the cracker back to service “by mid-August,” Bill Day, a spokesman at the company’s headquarters in San Antonio, said in an e-mail.

California-blend, or Carbob, in San Francisco advanced 0.75 cent to 13.75 cents above gasoline futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange today, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the highest level for the fuel in a month. The gain capped a monthly advance of 6.25 cents a gallon, the largest since April.

Carbob in Los Angeles jumped 3.75 cents to 13.75 cents a gallon above futures, also the strongest in a month.

Exxon Mobil Corp. plans to flare gases at the Torrance refinery in Southern California from tomorrow through Aug. 21, a filing with the South Coast Air Quality Management District showed. The flaring is related to scheduled maintenance on a storage tank, Gesuina Paras, an Exxon spokeswoman at the Torrance refinery, said in an e-mailed statement late today.

“No impact to production is expected,” she said.

California-blend diesel, or CARB diesel, in San Francisco was unchanged at a premium of 8 cents a gallon versus Nymex heating oil futures, the highest level since May 16. CARB diesel in Los Angeles was unchanged at 6 cents a gallon above futures.

Conventional, 87-octane gasoline in Portland, Oregon, jumped 11 cents to a premium of 3 cents a gallon versus Nymex gasoline futures. Low-sulfur diesel there was unchanged at 10.25 cents above heating oil futures.

BP Plc reported a process unit trip at the 234,000-barrel-a-day Cherry Point refinery in Washington, a filing with the U.S. National Response Center showed.

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