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San Francisco Gasoline Hits Two-Week Low as Chevron Unit Starts

Spot gasoline in San Francisco tumbled to the lowest level in more than two weeks as Chevron Corp. started the crude unit at the Richmond refinery, the largest in Northern California.

The 240,000-barrel-a-day Richmond plant was feeding oil into its only crude unit, shut after a fire Aug. 6, last week and expected to increase production from other equipment in “the coming days,” Jeff Gustavson, Chevron’s general manager of investor relations, said in an quarterly earnings conference call April 26.

California-blend gasoline, or Carbob, in San Francisco dropped 13 cents to a premium of 9.5 cents a gallon against futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 4:16 p.m. New York time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the lowest level for the fuel in the Bay since April 10.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s 165,000-barrel-a-day Martinez refinery near San Francisco was also starting units after finishing a maintenance turnaround, an April 25 notice filed with Contra Costa County regulators showed. The plant shut units in the light-oil processing section earlier this month for planned repairs, a person familiar with the work said April 8.

Carbob in Los Angeles dropped 5.5 cents to a premium of 5 cents a gallon over Nymex futures, a three-week low.

El Segundo

The 279,000-barrel-a-day El Segundo refinery, the largest in California, has resumed normal rates after a maintenance turnaround, Pat Yarrington, Chevron’s chief financial officer, said in the earnings call April 26.

San Francisco’s premium to Los Angeles narrowed 7.5 cents to 4.5 cents a gallon, the smallest spread in three days.

California-blend, or CARB, diesel in Los Angeles weakened 1.5 cents to a discount of 2.75 cents a gallon against ultra-low-sulfur diesel futures on the Nymex, the lowest level since Dec. 14. CARB diesel in San Francisco dropped 1.75 cents to 5.75 cents a gallon below futures, a three-month low.

Conventional gasoline in Portland, Oregon, jumped 4 cents to 15 cents a gallon over Nymex futures, a two-month high. Low-sulfur diesel there gained 1.75 cents against ULSD futures to a premium of 2.5 cents a gallon.

The 3-2-1 crack spread of Alaska North Slope crude, Carbob in Los Angeles and CARB diesel in Los Angeles narrowed a second day, shrinking $3.39 to $13.80 a barrel at 4:17 p.m. New York time. The spread, a rough indicator of refinery margins, is down 53 percent from this year’s high of $29.09 a barrel on Feb. 5.

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