Wholesale Gas Prices Jump After Outage Shuts Down Torrance Refinery

Flaring is seen at the Torrance refinery during a power outage on Oct. 11, 2016. (Credit: KTLA)

Wholesale gasoline prices jumped Tuesday and consumers could see higher prices at the pump after a South Bay power outage forced a Torrance fuel refinery to shut down.

Southern California Edison reported a power outage that left more than 100,000 South Bay residents without electricity Tuesday morning. The former Exxon Mobil refinery also lost power, the second such shutdown in as many months. Nearby residents were told to temporarily shelter in place as smoke and flames rose from the facility’s stacks.

Spot market gasoline prices rose as much as 14 cents a gallon Tuesday, but it remains unclear whether motorists will see those increases at retailers. The average price for regular unleaded gas in Los Angeles on Tuesday was $2.84 a gallon, down nearly a penny from the day before.

“We haven’t seen anything move on the retail end,” said Jeffrey Spring, a spokesman for the Automobile Club of Southern California. “At this point we need to take more of a wait-and-see attitude. Hang on to your chair.”

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