Los Angeles Gasoline Surges as Tesoro Said to Plan Unit Repairs

Los Angeles gasoline gained to its highest level against futures in almost two weeks after Tesoro Corp. was said to be planning repairs on a unit at its Southern California refinery in January.

The fuel advanced after Tesoro was said to plan maintenance on the hydrocracker in the Wilmington, California, section of its 363,000-barrel-a-day Los Angeles complex, according to two people familiar with the schedule. The work is expected to last six weeks, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.

California-blend gasoline, or Carbob, in Los Angeles jumped 5 cents against futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange to a premium of 2 cents a gallon at 5:19 p.m. East Coast time, its highest level since Nov. 12, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Retail gasoline in California slipped 0.1 cent to $3.561 a gallon, according to Heathrow, Florida-based AAA.

Tina Barbee, a Tesoro spokeswoman at the company’s headquarters in San Antonio, declined by e-mail to comment on the maintenance.

Carbob in San Francisco gained 1 cent against futures to a discount of 11.5 cents. The fuel had weakened earlier today after Tesoro’s 170,000-barrel-a-day Golden Eagle refinery in Northern California reported a “major unit” startup. The plant was also changing out a different unit, the company said in a filing with county regulators today.

The Golden Eagle refinery is performing planned maintenance, Barbee said.

The 3-2-1 crack spread of Alaska North Slope crude, Carbob in Los Angeles and state-grade diesel in Los Angeles, an indicator of refining profitability in the western U.S., narrowed $1.93 a barrel, or 15 percent, to $10.60 at 4:10 p.m. New York time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, the lowest since Oct. 2.

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