SHARE
ExxonMobil's Torrance refinery. Image courtesy of ExxonMobil.

ExxonMobil said Wednesday it has agreed to sell its refinery in Torrance, California along with other assets to PBF Energy for an undisclosed amount.

PBF Energy will acquire the Torrance refinery that was damaged by a blast last February as well as a lubricants distribution center at Vernon, products terminals at Vernon and Atwood, and associated California pipelines and other logistics assets, including facilities at the Southwest terminal.

“The sale results from a strategic assessment of the site and how it fits with our refining portfolio,” president of ExxonMobil Refining & Supply Company Jerry Wascom said.

About 700 employees and 700 contractors work at the refinery and associated facilities.

Employees are expected to be offered positions with PBF and existing third-party supply agreements, obligations, terms and conditions remain unchanged.

Subject to repairs to the refinery’s electrostatic precipitator and regulatory approval, New Jersey-based PBF Energy is expected to take control of the refinery by mid-2016.

The Torrance Refinery processes an average of 155,000 barrels of crude oil per day and produces 1.8 billion gallons of gasoline per year.

The LA Times reported last week that Exxon had scraped short term repair plans that called for the company to use an older pollution control system at the refinery as it worked on long term repairs.

Sources close to the matter told the paper that Exxon is now planning to build a new pollution control system that will meet anti-pollution specifications, a change that could push the refinery’s return to full capacity back to February 2016.

Exxon has not commented on possible changes to its repair plans yet.

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health ordered ExxonMobil to pay $566,600 in fines in August for violations tied to the refinery blast that injured four people.

Cal/OSHA said it issued 19 citations to Exxon Mobil Refining & Supply Company for workplace safety and health violations following an investigation into the February 18 explosion.

The refinery is currently operating at about 20 percent capacity and produces about 20 percent of the gasoline used in Southern California.

ExxonMobil said it will continue to operate its ongoing oil and natural gas production projects as well as sales of fuels and lubricant products in California.

Exxon- and Mobil-branded retail sites in the state are unaffected by the agreement.

PBF recently agreed to purchase the Chalmette refinery in Louisiana through a separate, independent bidding process, where ExxonMobil holds 50 percent interest.