a refinery shift leader
Chevron produces energy to meet the world’s needs, but Chevron itself is a product of its workforce and ingenuity. The “Day in the Life” series showcases that ingenuity, our Human Energy, at work across the breadth of our businesses. Through this series, we highlight the people that make our company unique, as they give us an insider’s look at their work days and share a bit about their lives at Chevron.
day in the life: refinery shift leader
Bill Laster, a refinery shift leader, ensures the refinery operates efficiently, day in and day out, incident and injury free.
A newly married man with a baby sought a dependable, challenging job and found his way to Chevron as an operator trainee. Thirty-five years and six children later, Bill Laster is a refinery shift leader at the El Segundo Refinery in California. His job is just as challenging today as it was then, but in the most rewarding way.
“We provide the energy so that people can lead their lives.”
The refinery is a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week operation manned by four crews working rotating shifts. Each refinery shift leader has a crew that consists of an optimization operating assistant, five shift supervisors, full-time fire and rescue personnel and the 70-plus operators that run the facility’s process units.
In his role, Bill ensures El Segundo operates efficiently, day in and day out, incident and injury free. As a shift leader, he's responsible for the safe and environmentally compliant operation of the refinery. Making sure this happens requires more than just shift work – his job entails applying learnings from the past, and looking toward the future.
“The refinery is 106 years old. I know that any success I may have achieved was a result of the refinery leaders before me; they allowed us to build on their successes. I want to create the same legacy.”
What makes El Segundo unique is its location. It is situated alongside Manhattan Beach, in a highly populated area with many homes on its fence line, as well as a major airport and dozens of Fortune 100 companies in close proximity. This makes being a good neighbor imperative. The partnership between El Segundo and Manhattan Beach allows Chevron to meet the energy needs of the region with the utmost priority on doing it without being seen, heard or smelled. The motto of the refinery is Lead, Improve and be Proud.
The El Segundo Refinery is the largest refinery on the West Coast and provides 20 percent of all motor vehicle transportation fuels consumed in Southern California and nearly 40 percent of the jet supply for the entire Southwest.
Bill works in the refinery optimization center, better known as the ROC, which was brought to life in 2012. The ROC was the result of years of comprehensive planning and teamwork leading to the design of a NASA-like control room that ultimately changed the way the refinery operates and communicates. All field control functions were brought into a central location so that everyone is kept in the loop, at all times. The ROC not only improved efficiency within the refinery, it also improved safety and environmental performance by streamlining communications, ultimately increasing reliability in providing energy for the public.
“I feel a deep satisfaction knowing that not only did I add value today but I am adding value to our future.”
Published: June 2017