San Francisco Gasoline Falls With Shell Plant at Planned Rates

Spot gasoline in San Francisco weakened for the first time in three days as Royal Dutch Shell Plc said the Martinez refinery in Northern California was running at planned rates.

The 165,000-barrel-a-day refinery, northeast of San Francisco, reported an unscheduled unit shutdown early yesterday because of a lack of nitrogen at the site, a notice to Contra Costa County regulators shows. Destin Singleton, a Shell spokeswoman in Houston, declined to comment on the unit shut and said the refinery is “operating as planned.”

California-blend gasoline, or Carbob, in the Northern California area dropped 3.5 cents to a discount of 10.5 cents a gallon versus gasoline contracts traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange, data compiled by Bloomberg at 4:14 p.m. New York time show. Prompt-delivery tumbled 7.91 cents to $2.8456 a gallon.

Tesoro Corp.’s 170,000-barrel-a-day Golden Eagle refinery reported unit startups on July 19 and July 20, separate notices to Contra Costa County show.

Carbob in Los Angeles slipped 2.5 cents to a discount of

9.5 cents a gallon.

Chevron Corp.’s El Segundo refinery, the largest in the state, plans to flare gases through Aug. 7, a notice to the South Coast Air Quality Management District shows. The flaring isn’t due to a breakdown, according to the notice. The plant was scheduled to shut the No. 2 crude unit this month for maintenance, a person familiar with the work said June 13.

Wilmington Hydrogen

Air Products & Chemicals Inc.’s Wilmington plant, which supplies hydrogen to refineries in the Los Angeles area, plans to perform a valve replacement tomorrow that may cause flaring, Art George, a spokesman at the company’s headquarters in Allentown, Pennsylvania, said by e-mail today. The plant will continue to supply customers during the work and return to normal rates the following day, he said.

Retail gasoline in California dropped 0.4 cent to $3.953 a gallon, Heathrow, Florida-based AAA, the nation’s largest motoring organization, said today on its website.

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

0.25 cent against ultra-low-sulfur diesel futures on the Nymex to a premium of 4.50 cents a gallon. The same fuel in San Francisco was unchanged at 4 cents a gallon above futures.

Low-sulfur diesel in Portland, Oregon, a benchmark for the U.S. Pacific Northwest, was also unchanged at 3 cents a gallon over futures.

Conventional gasoline in Portland weakened for a third day, losing 2.5 cents to a discount of 4.5 cents a gallon below Nymex futures, a two-week low.

The 3-2-1 crack spread of Alaska North Slope crude, Carbob in Los Angeles and CARB diesel in Los Angeles narrowed for a fourth day, losing $2.07 to $11.51 a barrel at 4:16 p.m. New York time. The spread, a rough indicator of refining profits, is the smallest since January.