San Francisco Gasoline Slips on Tesoro Refinery Unit Startups

Spot gasoline in San Francisco slipped against futures after Tesoro Corp. reported a unit startup at the Golden Eagle refinery and its Wilmington plant was said to be nearing the end of a maintenance turnaround.

The 170,000-barrel-a-day Golden Eagle refinery started a “major unit” on Feb. 4, a notice to Contra Costa County regulators shows. Tesoro’s 97,000-barrel-a-day Wilmington plant near Los Angeles was finishing planned repairs and expects to begin restarting equipment this week, two people with knowledge of the work said yesterday.

The premium for California-blend gasoline, or Carbob, in San Francisco narrowed for the first time in three days, losing 0.75 cent to 10.25 cents a gallon against futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Prompt delivery there fell 4.73 cents to $3.1024 a gallon.

Gregory Goff, Tesoro’s chief executive officer, said during a conference call with investors today that the Wilmington refinery’s fluid catalytic cracker will be back online “toward the middle of this month.”

Tina Barbee, a Tesoro spokeswoman at the company’s headquarters in San Antonio, said both the Golden Eagle and Wilmington refineries are performing planned maintenance.

The premium for California-blend gasoline, or Carbob, in Los Angeles widened 2.75 cents to 31.75 cents a gallon versus futures. Prompt delivery in Los Angeles dropped 1.23 cents to $3.3174 a gallon.

California Supplies

Carbob stockpiles fell 1.8 percent to 6.8 million barrels in the week ended Feb. 1, the state Energy Commission said on its website late yesterday. Output of the fuel gained for the first time in three weeks, rising 6.1 percent to 6 million barrels, the agency said.

San Francisco Carbob weakened 3.5 cents to a discount of 21.5 cents a gallon against the fuel in Los Angeles. The gap reached a record 32.5 cents a gallon on Jan. 14.

California-blend, or CARB, diesel in Los Angeles gained 1 cent to an 11-cent-a-gallon premium to Nymex heating oil futures. The same fuel in San Francisco weakened 1 cent to a premium of 11.5 cents a gallon.

In Portland, low-sulfur diesel lost 1.5 cents to 5 cents a gallon above heating oil futures. Conventional, 84-octane gasoline strengthened 1 cent to a premium of 3 cents a gallon to gasoline futures.

Portland 84-octane gasoline weakened 1.75 cents to 28.75 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 77.7 cents to $28.89 a barrel at 4:05 p.m. New York time. The crack, a measure of refining profitability, has more than doubled since the beginning of the year.

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