Portland Gasoline Premium Jumps as Tesoro Startup Said Delayed

Spot gasoline in Portland, Oregon, a benchmark for the U.S. Northwest, rose to the highest level against futures in more than two months as the start of units at Tesoro Corp.’s Anacortes refinery was said to be delayed.

The return of equipment involved in a two-month turnaround at Tesoro’s 125,000-barrel-a-day plant was delayed from earlier this month because of unplanned repairs on a crude reformer, a person with knowledge of the work said. The crude unit is running at reduced rates and the fluid catalytic cracker was expected to be restarted yesterday, the person said.

Conventional gasoline in Portland advanced 5 cents to a premium of 20 cents a gallon against gasoline futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 1:33 p.m. East Coast time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the highest level for the fuel since Feb. 26.

Tina Barbee, a spokeswoman at Tesoro’s headquarters in San Antonio, said by e-mail today that the Anacortes refinery is performing planned maintenance.

“We do not anticipate any impact upon our ability to fulfill product supply commitments,” she said.

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel in Portland climbed 0.25 cent versus ULSD futures on the Nymex to a premium of 2.75 cents a gallon, a one-week high.

California-grade, or CARB, diesel in Los Angeles weakened 1 cent to 3.75 cents a gallon below ULSD futures, a four-month low. The same fuel in San Francisco was unchanged at 5.75 cents below futures.

Carbob Prices

California-blend gasoline, or Carbob, in Los Angeles gained 2 cents against Nymex gasoline futures to a premium of 7 cents a gallon. Carbob in San Francisco was unchanged at 9.5 cents a gallon above futures.

Exxon Mobil Corp.’s 150,000-barrel-a-day Torrance refinery in Southern California was scheduled to shut process equipment, including a crude unit, a coker and an alkylation unit, for about 23 days of planned repairs in early May, a person with knowledge of the schedule said March 5.

San Francisco Carbob’s premium to the fuel in Los Angeles narrowed for the second straight day, declining 2 cents to 2.5 cents a gallon, the smallest differential in almost three weeks.

The 3-2-1 crack spread of Alaska North Slope crude, Carbob in Los Angeles and CARB diesel in Los Angeles widened for the first time in three days, gaining 16.5 cents to $13.96 a barrel at 2:52 p.m. New York time. The spread, a rough indicator of refinery margins, is down 52 percent from this year’s high of $29.09 a barrel on Feb. 5.