SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Californians pay more for gas than the rest of the country, but they may get some relief now that a Southern California refinery is back up and running.

The Exxon Mobil refinery went back into operation on Tuesday after an explosion rocked the plant a little more than year ago. Since the incident, the plant has been operating at less than 20% of its normal capacity.

The Torrance facility generates 10% of the state’s gasoline. State energy officials said the shutdown had an adverse affect on supply and demand in California because suppliers were forced to import gasoline.

“It was expensive to haul that gasoline all the way to California,” Dave Hackett, president of the transportation energy consulting company Stillwater Associates told the Los Angeles Times.

“I think [California drivers] should be glad that Exxon Mobil was finally able to get their refinery running again.”

Right now, California pays about a dollar more per gallon than most other states. Hackett says the restart of the Torrance refinery may eventually reduce the difference to about 45 cents a gallon.

Comments