Exxon Torrance refinery FCC shut, to remain down during probe -regulators

By Jarrett Renshaw NEW YORK (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp's fluid catalytic cracker at its refinery in Torrance, California, was shut down following an explosion Wednesday, and will remain down while investigators determine the cause, regulators said. The California Department of Industrial Relations opened a probe into the cause of the blast, agency spokeswoman Julia Bernstein said Wednesday. The agency issued an order prohibiting Exxon Mobil from operating the 100,000-barrel-per-day fluid catalytic cracker - a central gasoline-producing unit - until the investigation is complete, Bernstein said. The refinery has a capacity of 155,000-bpd, according to the company. The agency's investigation will be overseen by its Division of Occupational Safety and Health, better known as Cal/OSHA. The department helps protect workers from health and safety hazards on the job. The explosion and fire that ripped through a gasoline processing unit at the refinery near Los Angeles slightly injured four workers. The company has not detailed the extent of the damage, if any, to the fluid catalytic cracker or to any other unit at the facility. It's also unclear if the other units are operating normally. (Reporting By Jarrett Renshaw; Editing by Jessica Resnick-Ault, Jonathan Oatis and Bernard Orr)

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