press release

Chevron Press Release - Chevron Refinery Processing Unit Remains Shut Down

Investigation continues into cause

RICHMOND, Calif., March 31, 1999 -- Chevron is continuing the investigation into the cause of the refinery's March 25 fire. Below is an update on the situation:

  • At approximately 2:30 p.m. last Thursday, a fire ignited in a hydrocracking unit as a result of a leak in the unit's piping system.
  • The hydrocracking unit remains shut down and it is not currently known when it will be restarted.
  • The fire was extinguished on Saturday, and work crews have been cooling and decontaminating the unit to ensure the area is secure and safe for investigative teams.
  • Chevron has launched its own investigation and is cooperating with independent investigations being conducted by CAL-OSHA, Bay Area Air Quality Management District and Contra Costa Health Services, which received Chevron's required 72-hour (business days) report late Monday.
  • The refinery is operating about 70 percent of its gasoline capacity, which typically averages about 125,000 barrels per day. Gasoline production between Chevron's two California refineries, Richmond and El Segundo, Calif., is currently down about 10 percent.
  • Chevron is supplying its customers and compensating for the Richmond deficit by acquiring gasoline and blending components from other Chevron refineries and outside vendors.
  • Chevron appreciates the swift and professional response from the local agencies and emergency response organizations. The quick action and outstanding efforts of the refinery employees and outside responders helped to safely contain the fire in a relatively short time.
  • The Chevron Richmond refinery, which employs about 1,450 employees and more than 100 contractors, is one of the largest refineries on the West Coast with a 240,000 barrel-per-day capacity.

Updated: March 1999