Gasoline Gains to 7-Month High in Portland on Tesoro Work

Gasoline in Portland, Oregon, strengthened to a seven-month high against futures as Tesoro Corp. conducted unscheduled maintenance at its Anacortes refinery in Washington.

The 125,000-barrel-a-day plant began idling a fluid catalytic cracker yesterday after discovering a catalyst leak on a slide valve, according to a person familiar with operations. The extent and duration of repairs on the cracker, which turns fuel from the crude unit into lighter products such as gasoline, are being determined, the person said.

Tina Barbee, a company spokeswoman based in San Antonio, confirmed today that unscheduled work is under way on an unspecified unit. The company doesn’t expect the maintenance to affect supply commitments, she said.

The premium for conventional, 84-octane gasoline in Portland widened 13 cents to 55 cents a gallon versus New York Mercantile Exchange futures at 4:09 p.m., the highest level since Oct. 4, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Low-sulfur diesel in the region was unchanged at 4.5 cents a gallon above Nymex ultra-low-sulfur diesel futures.

Supplies of motor fuel on the West Coast, known as the PADD 5 region, dropped 112,000 barrels to 25.9 million in the week ended April 26, according to Energy Information Administration data. That’s the 12th consecutive weekly decline, the longest string of losses since at least 1990, when the EIA began tracking data. Refinery utilization in the region was 78.1 percent.

The Anacortes plant ships gasoline, jet fuel and diesel by pipeline to western Washington and Oregon and delivers products, including California-blend gasoline, by ship and barge, according to Tesoro’s website.

Los Angeles

California-blend gasoline, or Carbob, in Los Angeles strengthened 14 cents to 44.5 cents a gallon versus Nymex futures, the highest level since Oct. 9, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Carbob in San Francisco gained 14.5 cents to a premium of 36.5 cents a gallon.

Stockpiles of California-blend gasoline are at a record low as scheduled refinery repairs and unplanned unit shutdowns cut production. Inventories declined 11 percent in the week ended April 26 to 4.01 million barrels, according to data compiled by the state Energy Commission.

Exxon Mobil Corp. is conducting a turnaround at its Torrance refinery. Chevron Corp. is working to restart a crude unit that has been shut since a fire in August at the Richmond plant. The sites can process a total of 390,000 barrels a day, or nearly 13 percent of U.S. West Coast refining capacity, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The 3-2-1 crack spread of Alaska North Slope crude, Carbob in Los Angeles and CARB diesel in Los Angeles widened for a sixth day, advancing $2.37 to $26.30 a barrel.