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California Diesel Jumps to Four-Month High as Supplies Decline

Spot diesel in California strengthened to the highest level against futures in more than four months after the state reported stockpiles of the fuel dropped to a six-month low.

Supplies of California-blend diesel, known as CARB diesel, tumbled for the sixth straight week in the week ended Feb. 15, declining 9.2 percent to 1.8 million barrels, the state Energy Commission’s website shows. That’s the lowest inventory level since Aug. 24 and the smallest for this time of year since 2007, according to the agency’s data.

Diesel supplies in Northern California are at the lowest for this season in at least five years, the state said.

CARB diesel in Los Angeles strengthened 3 cents against heating oil futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange to a premium of 13.25 cents a gallon at 4:13 p.m. East Coast time, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That’s the highest level for the fuel since Oct. 10.

The same fuel in San Francisco gained 2.75 cents versus futures to a premium of 14.25 cents a gallon, also its highest since Oct. 10.

Tesoro Corp.’s Golden Eagle refinery in Northern California was restarting a hydrocracker last week after finishing repairs. Chevron Corp.’s Richmond refinery near San Francisco hasn’t been producing diesel since an Aug. 6 fire that shut its only crude unit.

Tanker Schedule

The chemical and oil products tanker Galissas left the Golden Eagle refinery around Jan. 23 for Quintero, Chile, according to IHS Inc. data. The vessel was chartered by Tesoro to deliver clean products from the U.S. West Coast to Chile, ship-fixture data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Clean tanker Eagle Madrid was also headed for Singapore after leaving Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Martinez refinery in Northern California on Jan. 20, IHS data show. The Eagle Madrid was chartered by Shell to deliver clean products from the U.S. West Coast to the Far East, according to ship-fixture data.

In Portland, Oregon, the premium for low-sulfur diesel against futures widened 1 cent to 5.5 cents a gallon. Conventional, 84-octane gasoline there was unchanged against Nymex gasoline futures at a premium of 3 cents a gallon.

California-blend gasoline, or Carbob, in San Francisco slipped against gasoline futures for the first time in four days, losing 0.5 cent to a premium of 6.5 cents a gallon. The same fuel in Los Angeles weakened 2 cents against futures to a premium of 29.5 cents.

Carbob inventories fell 2.5 percent in the week ended Feb. 15 to 6.76 million barrels, the lowest since Dec. 28.

The 3-2-1 refinery crack spread of Alaskan North Slope crude, Carbob in Los Angeles and CARB diesel in Los Angeles narrowed a second day, losing 6.5 cents to $26.702 a barrel at 4:15 p.m. New York time.

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