featuresan joaquin valley business unit (SJVBU)
For more than a century, Chevron has played a major role in helping meet California’s energy needs. Our San Joaquin Valley Business Unit (SJVBU) is headquartered in Bakersfield and we have operations in Kern, Fresno and Monterey Counties. We are proud to deliver the affordable, reliable and ever-cleaner energy that improves lives and enables human progress.
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more than 100 years
Chevron has produced oil and gas in California for more than 100 years, providing the energy to serve residents, businesses and industries, including agriculture. Local oil production helps to promote energy independence while providing economic benefits for the community, including money spent with local suppliers, philanthropic donations and property tax payments that go towards funding local infrastructure. We also employ approximately 750 full-time employees.
a rich history in california
Chevron has deep roots in Central California that go back more than a century to the first well it drilled in Coalinga Field in Fresno County in 1907. Since those first days, we’ve been leading the way to provide reliable, affordable and ever-cleaner energy.
While our company’s name has changed more than once, we’ve always retained our founders’ spirit, grit, innovation and perseverance.
enabling human progress
The oil and gas we produce are critical to enabling human progress. From the cars we drive to the tractors that grow our crops, to medical advancements, technological innovations and thousands of consumer products, we develop the energy that improves lives and power California forward.
meet our team
Our greatest resource is our people. Their ingenuity, creativity and collaboration have met the complex challenges of energy’s past and will continue to do so into the future. As part of an ongoing series, join us as we meet some of the people working to help us deliver affordable, reliable, and ever-cleaner energy.
Having productive and efficient oil wells is central to Chevron’s success. To achieve this goal, the company relies on talented, dedicated employees like Javier Bonilla, a reservoir engineer for Chevron in Central California. Javier’s job is to make sure the wells in the company’s fields produce as much oil as they can efficiently and safely.
It’s a collaborative, team effort, notes Javier, who has been part of the Chevron team for seven years. “We want to look holistically at our production and do the appropriate analysis with excellence in order to see why each well is performing the way it is,” he says.
Javier also uses his engineering expertise to help Chevron plan new wells, creating a production forecast for each one in the queue and scoping out the best location to drill the well. “We want to ensure we put the most reliable forecast we can together,” he says.
Javier came to Chevron from Houston. He earned a mechanical engineering degree from Prairie View A&M University. From there, he had internships at NASA and at a nuclear power plant, before taking an internship at Chevron.
“That internship experience was just great,” he said. It led to a full-time position with Chevron in Bakersfield. His work allows him to apply his engineering skills in tangible projects he can see in action. He enjoys “working out in the field and being close to the work you’re doing.”
He also enjoys the challenges of his work. As an engineer, he says, “you learn how to solve problems, how to create solutions for all kinds of different situations. It’s fun to be able to put that problem solving skillset to work in the real world and work collaboratively with a team.”
It’s that teamwork that he enjoys most, particularly tapping into the knowledge of diverse engineering colleagues. “They are all engineers, but they all have different perspectives because of their different backgrounds, so I’m able to get a broader perspective on my work,” Javier says. “It’s always about learning from the work and the other people on a project.”
Javier is passionate about Chevron’s role in providing energy that enables human progress. “We produce affordable, reliable and ever-cleaner energy, that’s accessible to people on a daily basis,” says Javier. “We also do it in an environmentally responsible way. It’s very fulfilling to be part of the good we do as an industry and in the world.”
Javier is also proud of Chevron’s support for local communities, especially Lost Hills, where he spends time working and volunteering. Earlier this year, he and fellow members of Somos (Chevron’s Latin American and Hispanic Employee Network) facilitated a virtual STEM learning event — complete with activity kits they assembled and donated — for Lost Hills families.
“I came from a financially challenged community where opportunities were not prevalent,” Javier says. “To be able to give back to local communities and help expand opportunities is one of the proudest things I’ve done since I’ve been at Chevron.”
What is your role at Chevron?
I’ve been with Chevron for 13 years and have held a variety of Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) roles during that time. I’m currently the HSE Manager for our operations in Central California. My job is to make sure we have the appropriate technology and resources to protect people and the environment. I work with our business leaders to develop strategies and tactics to ensure we comply with all of California’s environmental and safety regulations.
What is your favorite part of your job?
One thing I’ve always enjoyed is that I get to learn something new every day. My function within our business is far reaching. I can be talking about COVID-19 safeguards one hour and protecting endangered species the next hour. I’ve been working in the industry for over 30 years and very rarely is there a day that I don’t learn something new. I feel like this job keeps me young and it keeps me curious.
What makes Chevron stand apart from other companies?
One of the biggest things that attracted me to Chevron was the Chevron Way, and the underpinning of these principles and values in everything we do. Building partnerships, integrity and trust are all values we live every day. I’ve worked at enough places over my career to know that not all companies share those same fundamental values. That was very important to me and still is. Our culture of openness and feedback that we’re cultivating is a healthy thing for a workplace.
Have you done any volunteer work through Chevron?
I’ve always enjoyed participating in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) events. I love to see these kids’ faces light up and interject some science into the conversation to make it a less mystical subject for them. Part of my passion for STEM activities and volunteering is that STEM careers are very solid careers, regardless of where you live. Science becomes less scary for kids once they can connect it to the things they do in their everyday lives, whether it’s building an app, a bridge, engineering a clean car or even cleaner fuel. As we move further into the 21st century and beyond, we are going to need a lot of good STEM thinkers and workers to address the challenges the world faces. The more we can get kids interested in STEM early in their school years, the more we can funnel them into the right programs later on.
How did you first become interested in STEM?
I grew up in suburban Pennsylvania and didn’t have the opportunity to travel too much. But I had an earth science teacher in middle school who took a group of students on a 5-week camping trip in Wyoming and Montana. He had a love of geology and would tell us about the rock formations in the national parks we visited. I was absolutely fascinated with what I was seeing, and it helped me understand the history of these places that were right in front of me. This trip is what initially got me interested in geology and I actually ended up majoring in it in college. I became more interested in the environmental side of things and decided to get a master’s degree in environmental science, which has led to my career today.
Would you consider yourself an environmentalist?
Absolutely. One of our core values at Chevron is protecting people and the environment. I feel very confident that we are doing everything we can to safely extract, transport and refine oil and natural gas. We aren’t a company that cuts corners or that will shirk compliance or regulatory obligations. Those regulations were put in place for a reason and they are the standards to which everyone should be held. When you work on the inside of a company like this, you really get to influence and make sure those standards are being upheld and followed.
What is your role at Chevron?
I’ve held quite a few jobs at Chevron over the last 21 years, but currently I lead a team that focuses on the reliability and integrity of our equipment by verifying they operate safely and efficiently. We provide engineering services to Operations, Maintenance, and other engineering groups by monitoring, evaluating, and identifying equipment reliability and integrity risks and opportunities, with an emphasis on optimizing equipment life while maintaining strict safety conditions. I live in Bakersfield; my kids go to schools here. So for me, and for Chevron, protecting people and the environment is not just a business decision, but a core value.
What kind of education and training did you receive?
I have a degree in mechanical engineering, but probably my most influential training was in the military. My personality is naturally more reserved and introverted, but my time as a chemical specialist in the U.S. Army enabled me to be much more confident in myself. That training has taught me more than any degree and has helped me the most, not just at Chevron, but in life.
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of the job is helping mentor others who are just starting out in their careers. I believe that the most critical responsibility that is entrusted to company leaders is developing people. I’m very passionate about it and have made it an integral part of my job to help provide guidance to those who are just starting their careers. Several people who I supervised at the very beginning of their careers are now considered rising leaders in the company. I hope I had something to do with that.
What is something about your job that might surprise people?
People may be surprised to learn how much we use innovative technology to solve problems. For example, we are evaluating using robots to inspect the inside of our tanks and piloting drones to inspect the outside of them. We’ve also started using miniature sensors to detect corrosion in our pipelines. These golf-ball sized monitors are dropped into our pipelines to survey the integrity of the pipes using a magnetic force. The technology helps us home in on areas that need more detailed inspection efforts.
What makes Chevron stand apart from others in the industry?
What distinguishes Chevron the most in the industry is its people and culture. The industry sometimes has the perception of being old school and resistant to change. At Chevron, people are open-minded, they share experiences, and are always helping each other out. That’s what I love about working here.
What would you say is one of the greatest benefits of working at Chevron?
I met my wife two months before I started at Chevron 21 years ago and now we have three beautiful kids. My family is my number one priority. Chevron helps me take care of my number one priority. Working here allows me to have a good career, and still allows me to spend time with my family and do all the things I love to do.
What is something that people may be surprised to learn about you?
People always find the story about why I was named Guadalupe interesting. I was born in a small town in Mexico. When my mother went into labor, I was positioned sideways, which was causing some major health concerns and they weren’t sure if I was going to make it. My grandma was there and, as they were running into trouble, she began praying to the Virgin of Guadalupe – the patron saint of Mexico. She promised that if I survived, they’d name me Guadalupe. So here I am.
investing in tomorrow’s problem solvers
Preparing the next generation of problem solvers is essential to building a world where energy is affordable, reliable and ever-cleaner. Chevron aims to inspire the next generation of innovators who can tackle the complex challenges that we face. We do this by supporting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education through numerous programs and strategic partnerships. We support local schools and other organizations to advance STEM education opportunities in Kern, Fresno and Monterey Counties.
Our Chevron Somos (Hispanic) Employee Network recently hosted a virtual STEM Night for families in Lost Hills. Our team created videos to demonstrate hands-on STEM projects using basic household items for families to explore at home.
We sponsored the Junior Achievement of Northern California’s S.H.E. Leads Virtual STEM Summit. The summit aimed to inspire female high-school students in Fresno and Monterey to pursue careers in STEM and build their professional network. Students explored a variety of STEM careers and curriculum and gained insights and encouragement from high profile speakers each day, including Josetta Jones, Chevron’s chief diversity and inclusion officer.
We support the Kern County Superintendent of Schools to support innovative programs that enable the next generation of problem solvers to tackle the challenges of today and tomorrow. Learn more about what we’re doing to support the successful learning and development of youth in Kern County.
We support the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools and their programs aimed at expanding educational opportunities and innovative STEM-based initiatives to children of all backgrounds.
As part of this year’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Aces for Access program, we donated $200,000 to Monterey County nonprofits focused on bridging the digital divide in STEM education.
protecting the environment
Chevron uses ingenuity to solve today’s complex energy challenges, inspire for tomorrow, and power progress in Central California. As part of our commitment, we operate in a sustainable manner that reduces our environmental footprint.
operations and environment
With thousands of wells in operation, Chevron is one of the largest oil-equivalent producers in California where we produced 125,000 net oil-equivalent barrels per day in 2019.
1.4 billion kilowatt-hours of solar energy expected to be generated by Lost Hills Solar Project over 20-year period
In 2019, approximately 95% of SJVBU's water intake amount was produced water, and almost 77% of the total intake amount was reused for beneficial purposes.
advancing a lower-carbon future in central california
At Chevron, we believe the future of energy is lower carbon. We are working to advance the global net zero ambitions of the Paris agreement. We know breakthroughs will be needed to achieve these ambitious goals. That’s why we are investing, innovating and integrating new solutions, including here in Central California.
We worked with SunPower to develop a 29-megawatt solar plant, which is now owned by Goldman Sachs Renewable Power, at the Lost Hills oil field in Kern County. Learn more about how this project is delivering low-carbon electricity.
Chevron is partnering with California Bioenergy and dairy farmers to capture methane to produce renewable natural gas (RNG). The first RNG was successfully achieved in 2020.
Chevron is preparing to pilot an innovative carbon capture technology developed by Svante Inc. at our Kern River Oilfield facility.
Chevron is working with SunPower and Safari Energy to complete installation of solar carports at our Bakersfield offices.
In Mendota, Chevron is collaborating with Schlumberger New Energy, Microsoft, and Clean Energy Systems (CES), to work toward developing a bioenergy with carbon capture and sequestration (BECCS) project. The project is designed to utilize agricultural waste from California to produce renewable power using CES’s oxy-combustion technology, while capturing and permanently storing CO2 produced in the process in the geologic formation below the project site.
investing in the community
We are committed to investing in communities across Central California by giving time and resources to support local organizations that make our community a better place to live and work. We make strategic social investments that focus on education, health, economic development and civic engagement.
Fueling success at Cal State Bakersfield
We are proud to partner with California State University, Bakersfield to develop the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders. In 2019–20, we donated a total of $1.8 million to support the School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Engineering and other CSUB programs. We are also supporters of Roadrunner athletics programs – helping to fuel student success on and off the field.
Chevron soccer academy goes online
In 2020, Chevron and the Open Goal Project took the Chevron Soccer Academy online to bring the drills, skills and fun of physical soccer camps to today’s socially-distanced environment. Since 2018, the program has been creating accessible soccer opportunities for youth in Kern, Fresno and Monterey Counties.
community and social investments
Chevron was the #1 property tax payer in Kern County, #3 property tax payer in Monterey County, and #3 property tax payer in Fresno County for fiscal year 2019-2020.
In 2019, Chevron contributed over $6 million to non-profits and community organizations in Fresno, Kern, and Monterey counties.
In 2019, Chevron spent over $320 million with suppliers located in Fresno, Kern, and Monterey counties.
community feedback – contact us
Chevron’s San Joaquin Valley Business Unit is committed to providing open and transparent means for community members to find information, raise concerns, and have inquiries addressed in a timely manner. Email us at SJVCorpAffairs@chevron.com or call our 24-hour Community Hotline at (855) 346-4526. We make every effort to respond to you as quickly as possible. You will receive an initial response within five business days.
Updated: April 2021