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Los Angeles Gasoline Drops as BP Cracker Runs Through Repairs

Spot gasoline in Los Angeles weakened against futures as BP Plc kept a catalytic cracker at the Carson refinery in Southern California running during repairs on a hydrotreater.

The hydrotreater, which removes impurities from refined products and feeds into the catalytic cracker, was shut after a hydrogen leak, a person with direct knowledge of the situation said yesterday. Work on the unit was expected to be brief, and the cracker will remain operating, a person familiar with operations there said today.

California-blend gasoline, or Carbob, in Los Angeles fell 3.88 cents to a discount of 1 cent a gallon against futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 4:08 p.m. New York time, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The fuel jumped 7.13 cents yesterday after the 266,000-barrel-a-day Carson refinery reported flaring that may last through Dec. 4.

Carbob in San Francisco tumbled 7.87 cents to 16 cents a gallon below futures, the lowest level since June.

California-grade diesel, or CARB, in Los Angeles fell 1.5 cents to 1.5 cents a gallon under Nymex heating oil futures. The same fuel in San Francisco gained 1.5 cents to a discount of 0.5 cent versus futures.

Conventional 84 sub-octane gasoline to be blended with ethanol in Portland, Oregon, rose 1.5 cents to 5.5 cents a gallon under gasoline futures. Low-sulfur diesel there dropped 6 cents to a discount of 0.5 cent against heating oil futures.

BP’s 234,000-barrel-a-day Cherry Point refinery in Washington state was operating normally after reporting a compressor upset to state regulators yesterday, a person familiar with operations there said.

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