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California Gasoline Premium Gains as BP Flares, Plant Unit Shuts

Spot gasoline in California advanced against futures as BP Plc’s Carson refinery, the second-largest in the state, scheduled flaring and Phillips 66’s Rodeo plant reported an unplanned unit shutdown.

The 266,000-barrel-a-day Carson refinery plans to flare gases from April 14 through April 22, the London-based company said in a notice to the South Coast Air Quality Management District. The plant was scheduled to work this month on an isomerization unit, a jet treater, the No. 1 reformer and the mid-barrel unit, a person familiar with the plans said March 28.

Phillips 66’s 76,000-barrel-a-day Rodeo refinery flared gases for six hours after a unit shut, the company said in a notice to Contra Costa County regulators yesterday. Rich Johnson, a Phillips spokesman in Houston, declined to comment on the filing.

California-blend gasoline, or Carbob, in San Francisco rose to a six-month high against futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange, gaining 6 cents to a premium of 15.5 cents a gallon, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Prompt-delivery jumped 2.59 cents to $2.9860 a gallon.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Martinez refinery was said to shut units last week for about a month of planned maintenance, and Chevron Corp.’s 240,000-barrel-a-day Richmond refinery has been producing fuel at about half its capacity since an Aug. 6 fire damaged its crude unit.

L.A. Carbob

Carbob in Los Angeles advanced 1.5 cents against futures to a premium of 9 cents a gallon, the highest level since February. The premium for Carbob in San Francisco versus the fuel in Los Angeles widened 4.5 cents to 6.5 cents a gallon, the biggest differential in two weeks.

California-blend diesel in San Francisco jumped 3.5 cents against ultra-low-sulfur diesel futures on the Nymex to a premium of 10.5 cents a gallon. Diesel in Los Angeles slipped 0.75 cent to 4.25 cents a gallon above futures.

In Portland, Oregon, low-sulfur diesel was unchanged at 11 cents above versus ULSD futures. Gasoline there slipped 1 cent to a premium of 4 cents a gallon versus gasoline futures.

The 3-2-1 crack spread of Alaska North Slope crude, Carbob in Los Angeles and CARB diesel in Los Angeles dropped 19 cents to $16.21 a barrel. The spread, a rough indicator of refinery margins, is down 44 percent from this year’s high of $29.09 a barrel on Feb. 5.

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