San Francisco Gasoline Rises as Tesoro Seen Cutting Rates

Spot gasoline in San Francisco strengthened to the highest level against futures in more than three months after Tesoro Corp.’s Golden Eagle refinery was said to shut the hydrocracker for repair.

The Northern California unit, which converts heavy hydrocarbons into lighter fuels such as high-octane gasoline, was taken out of service over the weekend after a hole was discovered in a line, a person with direct knowledge of the maintenance said yesterday. The work was expected to take at least three weeks, the person said.

California-blend gasoline, or Carbob, in San Francisco widened 5 cents to a premium of 10 cents a gallon against futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 3:59 p.m. East Coast time, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That’s the highest level since Oct. 15. Prompt delivery of the fuel jumped 7.59 cents to $3.1374 a gallon.

Tina Barbee, a spokeswoman at Tesoro’s headquarters in San Antonio, said by e-mail yesterday that the Golden Eagle refinery is performing planned maintenance. She declined to specify the units involved.

The plant was already repairing the No. 6 boiler, which generates steam for equipment, the person familiar with operations there said. That unit, initially scheduled to return to service this week, may remain shut until next week for additional tube repairs, the person said.

L.A. Carbob

Los Angeles Carbob advanced 4 cents to a premium of 33.5 cents a gallon versus futures, the highest level for the fuel since Oct. 12. Prompt delivery in Los Angeles rose 6.59 cents to $3.3724 a gallon.

Valero Energy Corp.’s Wilmington refinery shut the fluid catalytic cracker and alkylation unit yesterday for repairs, Bill Day, a spokesman at the company’s headquarters in San Antonio, said by e-mail.

The plant was scheduled to shut equipment for work on the alkylation unit’s depropanizer, a person familiar with the repairs said Jan. 25. The maintenance is scheduled to be completed Feb. 16, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.

San Francisco Carbob strengthened 1 cent to a discount of 23.5 cents a gallon against the fuel in Los Angeles. The gap grew to a record 32.5 cents a gallon on Jan. 14.

California-blend, or CARB, diesel in Los Angeles slipped 0.5 cent to an 8-cent-a-gallon premium to Nymex heating oil futures. The same fuel in San Francisco gained 3.5 cents to a premium of 13.5 cents a gallon.

Portland Fuel

In Portland, low-sulfur diesel rose 1 cent to 6.5 cents a gallon above heating oil futures. Conventional, 84-octane gasoline increased 4.5 cents to a premium of 2 cents a gallon to gasoline futures, the fuel’s highest level since Oct. 15.

Portland 84-octane gasoline weakened 0.5 cent to 31.5 cents a gallon under Los Angeles Carbob. The spread reached a record 75.5 cents a gallon on Oct. 4.

The 3-2-1 refinery crack spread between Alaskan North Slope crude, Carbob in Los Angeles and CARB diesel in Los Angeles, widened $1.827 to $29.085 a barrel, the highest since Oct. 11. The crack, a measure of refining profitability, fell to a year-low of $3.858 a barrel on Dec. 5.