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Los Angeles Gasoline Strengthens as Tesoro, Exxon Perform Work

Oct. 29 (Bloomberg) -- The premium for Los Angeles gasoline widened versus futures as refineries operated by Tesoro Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp. performed repairs.

Gasoline strengthened for the first time in seven days. Exxon’s 150,000-barrel-a-day Torrance plant in Southern California flared today after a unit breakdown, Gesuina Paras, a company spokeswoman at the refinery, said by e-mail. Planned work at the plant may cause flaring through Nov. 3, she said.

The 266,000-barrel-a-day Carson section of Tesoro’s Los Angeles refinery may flare gases from Nov. 1 to Nov. 7 as it performs scheduled maintenance, Tina Barbee, a spokeswoman at the company’s headquarters in San Antonio, said by e-mail.

The premium for California-blend gasoline, or Carbob, in Los Angeles broadened 2.25 cents to 9.5 cents a gallon versus futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the biggest differential in four days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg at 3:53 p.m. New York time. Prompt delivery climbed 0.39 cent to $2.6867 a gallon.

The discount for Carbob in San Francisco narrowed 0.75 cent to 3 cents a gallon versus futures. The fuel weakened from a from a 1.5-cent-a-gallon discount earlier today after Tesoro’s Golden Eagle refinery was said to be planning a crude unit restart tomorrow after an Oct. 26 fire.

The unit is expected to be online tomorrow following minor repairs, said a person familiar with plant operations who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.

Portland Gasoline

The discount for conventional gasoline in Portland, Oregon, a benchmark for the U.S. Pacific Northwest, widened 2.5 cent to 15.5 cents a gallon below futures, its lowest level since August. Diesel in Portland tumbled 9.5 cents against ultra-low-sulfur diesel futures traded on the Nymex to a premium of 9 cents a gallon, the lowest in almost three weeks.

The discount for California-grade, or CARB, diesel in Los Angeles widened for the first time in three days, broadening 1 cent to 2.75 cents a gallon versus ULSD futures as Chevron was said to delay a crude and coker turnaround until late April.

Work on the coker originally set for January will begin in the last week of April and is expected to last about two months, according to a person familiar with the schedule who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.

The refinery will also perform repairs on the No. 4 crude unit, a naphtha hydrotreater and a sulfur recovery unit during the turnaround, the person said.

CARB diesel in San Francisco advanced 4.75 cents versus futures to a premium of 1.5 cents a gallon, a five-week high.

The 3-2-1 crack spread of Alaska North Slope crude, Carbob in Los Angeles and CARB diesel in Los Angeles narrowed 56 cents a barrel to $11.38.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lynn Doan in San Francisco at ldoan6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net

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