LOS ANGELES (AP) - Exxon Mobil Corp. is selling its troubled Southern California refinery for $537 million to a New Jersey energy company more than six months after an explosion crippled the plant and led to higher gas prices in the Golden State, according to an announcement Wednesday.

LOS ANGELES (AP) Exxon Mobil Corp. is selling its troubled Southern California refinery for $537 million to a New Jersey energy company more than six months after an explosion crippled the plant and led to higher gas prices in the Golden State, according to an announcement Wednesday.

PBF Energy Inc., one of the largest independent oil refiners in North America, said it will purchase the Torrance plant that can produce 155,000 barrels of oil a day.

The refinery near the coast on the edge of Los Angeles has been shut down since an explosion in February injured four contractors, caused heavy damage at the plant and rocked nearby neighbors with the blast.

California regulators have fined Exxon Mobil more than $566,000 for workplace safety and health violations related to the blast.

The shutdown led to a shortage of gas that meets California's stricter pollution regulations and caused higher prices at the pump for drivers in the state.

The plant will be operational before the sale is completed next year, PBF Energy said in a statement.

The sale also includes other storage facilities and pipelines, including a 116-mile section that delivers San Joaquin Valley crude to the refinery and pipes that provide access to the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.

Exxon Mobil said 700 employees and 700 contractors work at the refinery. PBF said employees will be offered jobs at the plant.

PBF Energy, based in Parsippany, New Jersey, recently bought another Exxon refinery in Louisiana.