Gasoline in U.S. Northwest Rises After BP Upset

Spot gasoline in the U.S. Northwest rose to a two-week high against futures after BP Plc reported a process unit upset at the Cherry Point oil refinery in Washington state.

BP’s 234,000-barrel-a-day Cherry Point refinery reported that the equipment breakdown was “still ongoing” as of 1:53 p.m. local time today, a notice to the Northwest Clean Air Agency shows. The plant reported on Sept. 12 a valve malfunction that resulted in the loss of a compressor at the hydrocracker, which converts heavy hydrocarbons into lighter fuels such as high-octane gasoline.

Regular, 87-octane gasoline in Portland, Oregon, a benchmark for the U.S. Northwest, rose 2 cents to a premium of 25 cents a gallon above gasoline futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 4:06 p.m. East Coast time, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The fuel has advanced for four straight days and is at the highest level against futures since Sept. 6.

Scott Dean, a BP spokesman in Warrenville, Illinois, declined to comment on operations at the refinery, Washington’s largest.

Low-sulfur diesel in Portland advanced for the first time in almost three weeks, rising by 2.5 cents to 9.5 cents a gallon above heating oil futures traded on the Nymex.

California-blend gasoline, or Carbob, in San Francisco slipped 0.5 cent to a premium of 40.5 cents a gallon above futures. The fuel tumbled 13 cents yesterday from a four-month high. Carbob in Los Angeles also dropped 0.5 cent to a 34.5-cent-a-gallon premium versus futures after falling 14 cents yesterday.

Vessel Loadings

The Eagle Milan, chartered by Chevron Corp., loaded clean products in Taiwan around Sept. 15 and was scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles Oct. 3, ship-fixture data compiled by Bloomberg show. The Horizon Armonia, chartered by Royal Dutch Shell Plc; the Torm Platte, chartered by Noble Group Ltd.; and the Unique Developer were also scheduled to load product this week for delivery on the U.S. West Coast.

California-blend, or CARB, diesel in Los Angeles slipped 1 cent to 11 cents a gallon above heating oil futures on the Nymex. The fuel in San Francisco fell 4.25 cents to 7.5 cents a gallon over futures.

Phillips 66’s 139,000-barrel-a-day Los Angeles refinery reported flaring at 2:15 p.m. local time “for unknown reasons,” a notice to the California Emergency Management Agency shows.

The plant has returned “several units” to service following a Sept. 15 power failure and expects to have all equipment online by the end of the week, Rich Johnson, a spokesman at the company’s headquarters in Houston, said by e-mail today. He didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail requesting comment on the flaring reported from the plant.

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