SINGAPORE Aug 24 Tesoro Corp, the
largest independent refiner on the U.S. West Coast, is set to
ship a jet fuel cargo from Asia to the United States, traders
said, marking the first such move by the company this year.
Tesoro has provisionally booked the vessel Overseas Limar to
carry 35,000 tonnes of jet fuel, to be loaded on September 5
from South Korea, towards Hawaii or the U.S. West Coast,
shipping fixtures showed.
The company only previously did the route a few times last
year and regularly two years ago, traders said.
Tesoro could not immediately be reached to confirm the
Profitable arbitrage economics to ship jet fuel from North
Asia to the United States after a fire shut a crude unit at
California's second-largest refinery has encouraged traders to
aggressively look to ship cargoes for the route.
A crude distillation unit at Chevron's
245,000-barrels-per-day (bpd) refinery in Richmond, California,
is expected to be shut for up to six months, with the refinery
continuing to produce 50 percent of its capacity for
The supply shortfall has caused jet fuel prices in the
United States to shoot up, in turn attracting cargoes from the
At least 120,000 to 150,000 tonnes a month of jet fuel are
set to be shipped from Asia to the U.S. West Coast from
late-August, up from the usual 30,000 tonnes a month before the
fire, traders said.
But fresh fixtures have slowed slightly this week compared
to last week on limited ship and cargo availability.
Tesoro used to ship about 30,000 tonnes of jet fuel a month
from South Korea to the U.S. West Coast about two years ago,
before scaling back on the route, traders said.
The company likely purchased a spot cargo from a term buyer
of jet fuel from one of the South Korean refiners, as spot
cargoes from refineries are currently limited for September,
Tesoro, through its subsidiaries, operates seven refineries
in the western United States with a combined capacity of about
665,000 bpd, according to the company website.