Refinery unit down for maintenance before fire, gas prices impacted

Feb 19, 2015 3:19 PM by News Staff

TORRANCE, Calif. (AP) - A Southern California oil refinery unit that was damaged by an explosion was already offline for unplanned maintenance when the fire occurred.

The Oil Price Information Service, which tracks the oil industry, said Thursday the unit was down for two days after problems with a recently repaired component within it.

The so-called fluid catalytic cracker unit refines gasoline and is critical to producing California-grade fuel.

The service's global head of energy, Tom Kloza, says the extent of damage remains unclear and it's unclear how long repairs will take.

California Division of Occupational Safety spokeswoman Erika Monterroza says the fluid catalytic cracker unit will remain offline until it's safe.

Analysts say gas prices may increase 20 cents per gallon in California.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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