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Los Angeles Gasoline Strengthens After Valero Plant Shuts Units

Spot gasoline in Los Angeles strengthened against futures after Valero Energy Corp.’s Wilmington refinery in Southern California shut two process units for repairs.

The 78,000-barrel-a-day plant took the fluid catalytic cracker and the alkylation unit out of service today, Bill Day, a spokesman at Valero’s headquarters in San Antonio, said by e-mail. Repairs are expected to take about two weeks, Day said.

California-blend gasoline, or Carbob, in Los Angeles advanced 2 cents to 30 cents a gallon above gasoline futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 1:25 p.m. East Coast time, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Prompt delivery in Los Angeles slipped 0.85 cent to $3.3251 a gallon.

The Wilmington plant was scheduled to shut equipment for work on the alkylation unit’s depropanizer today, a person familiar with the work said Jan. 25. The maintenance is scheduled to be completed Feb. 16, the person said.

Carbob in San Francisco climbed 0.5 cent to a premium of 8 cents a gallon against futures. Prompt delivery of the fuel dropped 2.35 cents to $3.1051 a gallon.

San Francisco Carbob weakened 1.5 cents to a discount of 22 cents a gallon against the fuel in Los Angeles. The gap grew to a record 32.5 cents a gallon on Jan. 14.

California-blend, or CARB, diesel in Los Angeles was unchanged at a 7.75-cent-a-gallon premium to Nymex heating oil futures. The same fuel in San Francisco was also unchanged at 7.5 cents a gallon under futures.

In Portland, low-sulfur diesel was unchanged at 5 cents a gallon above heating oil futures. Conventional, 84-octane gasoline there was also unchanged at a discount of 3 cents to gasoline futures.

Portland 84-octane gasoline weakened 2 cents to 33 cents a gallon under Los Angeles Carbob. The spread reached a record 75.5 cents a gallon on Oct. 4.

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