The Latest: Refinery confirms it will close, lay off workers

National News

Flames and smoke emerge from the Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refining Complex in Philadelphia, Friday, June 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Latest on the announcement that an East Coast oil refinery that caught fire will close (all times local):

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4:30 p.m.

The owner of the largest oil refinery on the East Coast is giving first public confirmation of its plans to close the facility after a fire last week set off explosions and damaged the complex.

Philadelphia Energy Solutions told the state labor department Wednesday that it will discontinue operations Monday and complete the layoff of about 1,020 workers within two weeks after that.

The company says it is pursuing opportunities to restart the complex but cannot guarantee that will come to pass.

The markets research company FactSet reported that gasoline futures prices spiked Tuesday night after the first news of the refinery’s possible closure. Prices remained high Wednesday.

The refinery says the 150-year-old complex processes 335,000 barrels of crude oil daily. The company has recently struggled financially.

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1:30 p.m.

AAA says gasoline prices may increase after the announcement that a Philadelphia oil refinery will close after a devastating fire.

Spokeswoman Jana Tidwell says motorists in the Mid-Atlantic region will likely see modest price increases at the pump leading into the high-demand summer travel season.

The markets research company FactSet reported that gasoline futures prices spiked Tuesday night after the first news of the refinery’s possible closure. Prices remained high Wednesday.

Kevin Book is managing director at Clearview Energy Partners. He says the refinery has been an important source fueling transportation in the region.

Analysts say the amount of gasoline that will be lost from the refinery is sizable but can easily be made up by imports from other regions and countries.

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10:30 a.m.

The owner of the largest oil refinery on the East Coast is telling officials that it will close the facility after a fire last week set off explosions and damaged the complex.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement Wednesday that Philadelphia Energy Solutions had informed him of its decision.

Kenney says the more than 1,000 workers there will be impacted. A company spokeswoman isn’t responding to a request for comment.

PES says the 150-year-old oil refining complex processes 335,000 barrels of crude oil daily. The refinery turns the crude into gasoline, jet fuel, propane, home heating oil and other products.

It started as a bulk petroleum storage facility in 1866, and began refinery operations in 1870.

The company emerged from bankruptcy last year after restructuring its debt.

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