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San Francisco Gasoline Slides as More Tankers Head to Richmond

Spot gasoline in San Francisco weakened to its smallest premium since before a fire at Chevron Corp.’s Richmond refinery as oil tankers bearing intermediate feedstock sailed to the plant.

At least four vessels from Italy, Japan, Argentina and Algeria are on their way to the Northern California refinery with possibly as much as 1.8 million barrels of cargo such as vacuum gasoil and fuel oil, according to Bloomberg calculations based in the ships’ capacities.

The material may provide a feedstock source for downstream units that was lost when Chevron shut the plant’s only crude unit after the Aug. 6 fire. Other parts of the refinery are operating and making transportation fuels at reduced rates, Melissa Ritchie, a Richmond-based spokeswoman for the refinery, said in an e-mailed statement.

California-blend gasoline in San Francisco narrowed 10 cents to 22.5 cents a gallon above futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 1:35 p.m. New York time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the smallest premium since the day of the fire.

California-blend gasoline in Los Angeles weakened 4.5 cents to 14 cents over New York futures. The premium of conventional, 87-octane gasoline in Portland, Oregon, narrowed 0.5 cent to 22.5 cents.

California-blend diesel in San Francisco gained 5.5 cents to 25 cents over heating oil futures in New York. The same fuel in Los Angeles strengthened 2.5 cents to a premium of 21.5 cents. Low-sulfur diesel in Portland widened its premium 2 cents to 31 cents a gallon.

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