California Gasoline Weakens to Six-Week Low on Refinery Startups

Spot gasoline in California dropped to the lowest level against futures in six weeks as refineries including Tesoro Corp.’s Golden Eagle and BP Plc’s Carson plants were said to be restoring production.

BP’s Carson refinery, the second-largest in California, is restarting a catalytic cracker and an alkylation unit after finishing planned maintenance, a person familiar with operations there said yesterday. Tesoro’s Golden Eagle put a continuous catalytic reformer back online over the weekend after a week of repair, according to a person with direct knowledge of the work.

California-blend gasoline, or Carbob, in Los Angeles fell

3.12 cents against gasoline futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange, to a discount of 5.5 cents a gallon at 1:47 p.m. East Coast time, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That’s the lowest level for the fuel since Jan. 22 and the biggest discount for this time of year since at least 2008.

Carbob in San Francisco weakened 3.12 cents to 19.5 cents a gallon under futures, also the lowest level since Jan. 22.

The spread between the fuel in San Francisco and Los Angeles was unchanged at 14 cents a gallon. San Francisco Carbob weakened to a record 32.5 cents a gallon versus Los Angeles on Jan. 14.

California-blend, or CARB, diesel in Los Angeles slipped

0.5 cent against heating oil futures to a premium of 12.5 cents a gallon, a two-week low. The same fuel in San Francisco also fell 0.5 cent to 11.5 cents a gallon above futures.

In Portland, Oregon, low-sulfur diesel weakened 0.5 cent against futures to a premium of 10.5 cents a gallon. Conventional, 84-octane gasoline there dropped 1 cent against gasoline futures to a discount 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 widened 1 cent to $21.85 a barrel at 2:03 p.m. New York time. The spread, a measure of refining profitability, hit a one-month low of $21.077 a barrel last week.

-- Editors: Charlotte Porter, David Marino