Los Angeles Gasoline Climbs as BP Carson Said to Plan Unit Shuts

Spot gasoline in Los Angeles advanced against futures for the first time in three days as BP Plc’s Carson refinery in Southern California was said to be planning two unit shutdowns for work beginning April 1.

BP’s 266,000-barrel-a-day Carson plant, the second-largest in the state, will shut an isomerization unit and a jet treater for planned maintenance beginning next week, a person with direct knowledge of the schedule said today. BP will also shut the No. 1 reformer and the mid-barrel unit later this month for repair, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.

California-blend gasoline, or Carbob, in Los Angeles gained 0.75 cent to a discount of 0.25 cent against gasoline futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 2:57 p.m. East Coast time, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The same fuel in San Francisco slid 1.25 cents to a premium of 5.25 cents a gallon above futures.

The state Energy Commission said yesterday that Carbob stockpiles had dropped for a third straight week, declining 6.2 percent to 5.47 million barrels in the seven days ended March 22, the lowest level since November. Production of the fuel jumped 5.8 percent to 6.21 million barrels.

The fuel’s premium in San Francisco over Los Angeles slipped for the first time in six days, narrowing 2 cents to 5.5 cents a gallon. San Francisco strengthened to 7.5 cents a gallon over Los Angeles yesterday, the biggest spread since September.

Diesel Prices

California-blend, or CARB, diesel in San Francisco jumped 15 cents against Nymex heating oil futures to a premium of 22.5 cents a gallon, the highest level since Sept. 11. The same fuel in Los Angeles gained 2.5 cents to a premium of 7 cents a gallon over futures, a seven-day high.

Distillate fuel oil inventories on the U.S. West Coast, the PADD 5 region, declined 4.5 percent last week to 12.4 million barrels, the lowest level since September, the Energy Information Administration, the Energy Department’s statistical arm, said yesterday. State supplies of CARB diesel dropped 13 percent to 2.2 million barrels, a five-week low, the state Energy Commission said.

In Portland, Oregon, low-sulfur diesel weakened 7.5 cents to a premium of 10 cents a gallon as the contract rolled into April trading against May heating oil futures. Conventional, 84-octane gasoline there, which also rolled into April, rose 4 cents to a discount of 8 cents against May gasoline futures.

The 3-2-1 crack spread of Alaska North Slope crude, Carbob in Los Angeles and CARB diesel in Los Angeles narrowed for the first time in seven days, dropping 17.3 cents to $20.74 a barrel at 3:02 p.m. New York time.