Los Angeles Gasoline Weakens as Refiners Run at Seasonal Record

Los Angeles gasoline weakened against futures as West Coast refineries ran at record-high rates for this time of year and California stockpiles of the motor fuel surged.

Gasoline’s discount widened after an Energy Information Administration report showed the region’s refineries ran at 86.8 percent of operable capacity in the week ended Jan. 17, the highest level for the third week in January in data going back to mid-2010. California-blend gasoline stockpiles also jumped 1.2 percent last week to 6.99 million barrels, the highest since Jan. 18, 2013.

California-blend gasoline, or Carbob, in Los Angeles weakened 1 cent relative to futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange to a discount of 6 cents a gallon, data compiled by Bloomberg at 2:25 p.m. East Coast time show. The prompt-delivery price slid 2.66 cents to $2.6005 a gallon.

Carbob in San Francisco was unchanged against futures for a third day at a discount of 10 cents a gallon. Los Angeles Carbob’s premium over San Francisco narrowed 1 cent to 4 cents a gallon.

Tesoro’s 170,000-barrel-a-day Golden Eagle refinery in Northern California reported a unit startup yesterday and was running normally after unscheduled repairs, Tina Barbee, a spokeswoman at the company’s headquarters in San Antonio, said by e-mail today.

California-grade, or CARB, diesel in Los Angeles lost 2.5 cents versus ultra low sulfur diesel futures on the Nymex to a discount of 3 cent a gallon. Jet fuel in Los Angeles was unchanged at 12.5 cents a gallon under ULSD futures.

Distillate fuel oil production on the West Coast, known as the PADD 5 region, is at the highest level for this season in at least 10 years, the EIA said today.

Retail gasoline in California fell 0.5 cent to $3.590 a gallon, according to Heathrow, Florida-based AAA. Diesel also dropped 0.5 cent to $4.067 a gallon.

The 3-2-1 crack spread, assuming two barrels of Carbob gasoline and one barrel of CARB diesel in Los Angeles, is refined out of three barrels of Alaska North Slope crude, narrowed $1.51 to $8.44 a barrel.

Conventional, 87-octane gasoline in Portland, Oregon, a benchmark for the U.S. Pacific Northwest, was unchanged versus gasoline futures at a discount of 8 cents a gallon. Low sulfur diesel there also held against ULSD futures at a discount of 9 cents a gallon.

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