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California Gasoline Jumps a Second Day to Record on Exxon Flare

Spot gasoline in California advanced for a second day to a record against futures after Exxon Mobil Corp. said the Torrance oil refinery may flare gases for a week after losing power yesterday.

The 150,000-barrel-a-day Torrance plant may flare sulfur dioxide from tomorrow through Oct. 9 unrelated to a breakdown, a filing with the South Coast Air Quality Management District showed. The refinery had an “external power interruption” at about 7:30 a.m. local time yesterday, Gesuina Paras, an Exxon spokeswoman in Torrance, said by e-mail. She declined to comment on operations once service was restored.

California-blend gasoline, or Carbob, in Los Angeles gained 10 cents to 85 cents a gallon above gasoline futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 1:45 p.m. East Coast time, the highest premium since at least November 2007, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The fuel surged 30 cents a gallon yesterday after the power failure in Torrance.

Carbob in San Francisco jumped 17 cents to 89 cents a gallon over futures, also the highest level since at least 2007. The fuel rose 20 cents a gallon yesterday.

Chevron Corp.’s Kettleman-Los Medanos pipeline, which carries crude from Kern County to Northern California refineries operated by Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Tesoro Corp. and Valero Energy Corp., remained shut yesterday after elevated levels of organic chloride were detected in the oil.

Work Planned

Phillips 66 is scheduled to perform maintenance on hydrocrackers at the 76,000-barrel-a-day Rodeo and 139,000-barrel-a-day Los Angeles refineries this month, according to people familiar with the schedules.

Planned work at the San Francisco refinery, consisting of Rodeo and another plant in Arroyo Grande, California, has begun, Rich Johnson, a spokesman at the headquarters in Houston, said by e-mail yesterday.

Chevron’s 240,000-barrel-a-day Richmond plant, the largest refinery in Northern California, has been running at reduced capacity since a fire Aug. 6.

California-grade, or CARB, diesel in Los Angeles climbed 0.5 cent to 13.75 cents a gallon above heating oil futures on the Nymex. The fuel in San Francisco was unchanged at a premium of 15 cents a gallon versus futures.

Conventional, 87-octane gasoline in Portland, Oregon, was unchanged at a premium of 50 cents a gallon against gasoline futures, the highest level since May. Low-sulfur diesel in Portland was unchanged at 4 cents a gallon over heating oil futures.

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