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Sale of Exxon Mobil’s Torrance refinery to PBF Energy nears completion

PBF Energy is expected to acquire the Torrance refinery from Exxon Mobil on July 1.
(Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)

The long-awaited sale of Exxon Mobil’s Torrance refinery is set to close Friday, with the energy company’s completion of repairs at the plant following an explosion that destroyed a pollution-control system a year and half ago.

PBF Energy, a Parsippany, N.J.-based company, expects to acquire the Torrance plant, pending the completion of a final agreement with Exxon Mobil, said Jeffrey Dill, president of PBF Energy’s western region.

Details of the final deal have not been disclosed.

PBF Energy announced last fall that it intended to purchase the Torrance refinery after Exxon Mobil fixed damage from the February 2015 explosion.

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The damage forced the plant to operate at less than 20% of its capacity, triggering a surge in gasoline prices in the Los Angeles area that reached as high as $1.50 a gallon above the national average.

Torrance accounts for 10% of the refined gasoline capacity for the state and 20% in Southern California.

Exxon Mobil has been increasing Torrance’s production as workers have completed repairs, causing L.A. area gas prices to close the gap with the rest of the nation.

California prices are almost always above prices in most other states, driven up by higher-than-average taxes and fees, state requirements to produce special low-pollution blends and the relatively small number of refineries in the state.

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The average price Wednesday for a gallon of regular gas in the L.A. area was $2.97, about 68 cents higher than the national average, according to AAA’s daily fuel price survey.

ivan.penn@latimes.com

For more energy news, follow Ivan Penn on Twitter: @ivanlpenn

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