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San Francisco Gasoline Weakens as State Reviews Chevron Restart

Spot gasoline and diesel in San Francisco weakened against futures as state regulators said they may decide in the next several days whether to let Chevron Corp. begin restarting the crude unit at the Richmond refinery.

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health is reviewing Chevron’s plans to resume operation of the only crude unit at the 240,000-barrel-a-day plant in Northern California, said Erika Monterroza, an agency spokeswoman. The unit has been shut since an Aug. 6 fire.

Once the agency is satisfied that everything is in place to safeguard the workers at the refinery, it will lift an “order preventing use” on the equipment, she said.

California-blend gasoline, or Carbob, in San Francisco weakened by 4 cents to a premium of 5 cents a gallon above futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 4:05 p.m. New York time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Carbob in Los Angeles shrank by 0.5 cent to a premium of 3 cents a gallon against futures.

Chevron has completed repairs to the equipment damaged in the Richmond blaze, Sean Comey, a company spokesman based in San Ramon, California, said by e-mail yesterday. The company plans to implement improved safety measures and resume processing crude at the plant in the second quarter.

The refinery, the largest in the San Francisco area, has been processing intermediate feedstock to produce transportation fuels at reduced rates since the crude unit shut.

California-blend diesel in San Francisco weakened by 8 cents to a premium of 14.5 cents a gallon above ultra-low-sulfur diesel futures on the Nymex. It’s the most the differential has fallen in one day since Sept. 13.

California-blend diesel in Los Angeles weakened by 3 cents to a premium of 5.5 cents a gallon.

In Portland, Oregon, low-sulfur diesel strengthened by 2.5 cents to a 14-cents-a-gallon premium. Gasoline weakened by 1.5 cents to a discount of 7.5 cents a gallon.

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