A message to our communities about the Richmond Refinery fire.
This week, our company released a detailed investigation report into the causes of the August 2012 fire at our Richmond Refinery. The investigation was conducted by a team that included independent scientific and engineering experts, members of the United Steelworkers Union and Chevron's technical experts.
By providing a detailed understanding of the factors that caused the fire, the report will help ensure safe and reliable operations at the refinery to prevent similar incidents.
Our report concludes that the causes of the incident were multifaceted. The refinery's management and our entire workforce are implementing a comprehensive set of actions, not simply to address the issues underlying the August incident, but also as part of our commitment to continuous improvement.
Our comprehensive response includes the following actions:
We have enhanced our inspection procedures. We've inspected every component in the unit where the fire occurred, and are inspecting every component throughout the refinery used in the same type of service. We are replacing every component as necessary based on the results of these inspections.
We are strengthening internal communications and oversight of mechanical-integrity-related recommendations and inspection plans.
We are strengthening our reliability programs for piping and equipment and our process hazard analyses to ensure that they fully cover the potential damage mechanisms to those systems.
We are reviewing and improving our mechanical training programs for leaders, inspectors, operating groups and engineers.
We are implementing a new protocol for evaluating leaks and shutting down equipment.
We are re-emphasizing our expectations for process safety performance and the importance of incorporating process safety into decision-making.
We encourage you to read more about these actions, as well as our investigation report.
It has been a challenging time, and we are grateful to everyone who has worked with us through this process - our employees and contractors, the city of Richmond, and local, state and federal agencies. We are also grateful for the support and patience of our neighboring communities as we work hard to earn back their trust.
Our work together continues. We are committed to collaborating with business partners and stakeholders to continuously improve the safety and reliability of our operations. And we look forward to taking the next steps on our plans to modernize the refinery so it can continue to contribute the products and economic benefits that are so vital to the regional economy.
Richmond Refinery General Manager