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  Chevron Update January 28
January 28, 2013

From: Smith, Barbara J
Sent: Monday, January 28, 2013 12:27 PM
Subject: Update January 28

City Council Members,

Today we submitted an update to our 30-Day Report to Contra Costa Health Services. The report provides an update on the status of our ongoing internal investigation, which will be completed prior to restart of the refinery’s crude oil processing unit, and an overview of the corrective actions we are taking at the refinery in response to the incident. These comprehensive actions will strengthen process safety, mechanical integrity, and management oversight.

The refinery has begun to develop and implement these corrective actions based on preliminary observations from the investigation team. We have met with governmental agencies, including the Chemical Safety Board, Cal/OSHA, and Contra Costa County Health Services to discuss these efforts, and have previewed these corrective actions with our workforce. Additional actions may be identified upon completion of the investigation, but as detailed in the attached 30-Day Report, efforts are already underway. Specifically, the company is:

  • Addressing the susceptibility of carbon steel piping components with low-silicon content to accelerated corrosion when exposed to high temperature sulfidation (“HTS”) conditions.
  • Strengthening reliability programs for piping and equipment, and enhancing competency requirements for leaders, inspectors and engineers;
  • Strengthening leak response protocols and reinforcing the authority that everyone has to shut down equipment;
  • Creating more management oversight and accountability for process safety and re-emphasizing focus on process safety.


We are implementing these corrective actions promptly and on a sustained basis at the refinery and across our global manufacturing network, as appropriate.  

To follow through on our commitment to timely and complete implementation of the corrective actions at the refinery, we have committed to provide progress updates to our workforce every two months.

Safety is a core value at Chevron. This incident does not reflect our general practice or our aspirations.  We are learning from it and are confident we are taking the right steps to avoid a recurrence of a similar incident in the future.   

As always, please contact me if you have questions or concerns.


Barbara Smith
Senior Business Manager
Chevron Richmond Refinery
phone:  (510) 242-9224