December 21, 2012
The City of Richmond's two metallurgical consultants, James McLaughlin and David Hendrix, each submitted a supplemental technical report as to whether 9 Chrome (9Cr) pipe is the most appropriate high temperature sulfidation piping material. The reports conclude 9Cr is the "best available technology" and provides "inherently safer design."
Letter from David Hendrix of The Hendrix Group (1.3 MB)
Letter from James McLaughlin of Becht Engineering Company (220 KB)
December 20, 2012
At a public meeting held by the city of Richmond on Wednesday, December 19, Richmond Refinery Senior Business Manager Barbara Smith provided information regarding Chevron's selection of 9 Chrome alloy to replace damaged pipe in the refinery's No. 4 Crude Unit. Below is the text of Smith's statement, a presentation explaining the crude unit repair, and an executive summary of a report prepared for the city regarding Chevron's metallurgy selection process and technical analysis.
Barbara Smith's Statement (192 KB)
Explanation of Crude Unit Repair (293 KB)
Technical Report Summary (103 KB)
December 19, 2012
The City of Richmond's two metallurgical consultants, James McLaughlin and David Hendrix, and Jonathan Dobis, an expert retained by Chevron, have submitted the attached letters to the city. They all conclude that Chevron's selection of 9 Chrome material complies with technical codes and industry standards for repairs to the No. 4 Crude Unit at the Richmond Refinery. For more details, consult the city's website.
Analysis by Jonathan Dobis of Equity Engineering Group (407 KB)
Analysis from David Hendrix of The Hendrix Group (307 KB)
Review by James McLaughlin of Becht Engineering Company (1.75 MB)
December 14, 2012
Chevron has selected piping made with 9 Chrome alloy to replace fire-damaged pipe in high-temperature sulfidation service areas of the No. 4 Crude Unit at the Richmond Refinery. The use of 9 Chrome alloy pipes effectively reduces the risk from, and provides the ability to effectively monitor, sulfidation corrosion, while avoiding the risk of stress corrosion cracking. The following report provides the detail and technical background regarding Chevron U.S.A. Inc.’s decision.
Chevron U.S.A. Inc. Technical Report
November 7, 2012
Chevron U.S.A. Inc. delivered a letter to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the City of Richmond and other regulatory agencies and stakeholders regarding planned repairs of the crude unit at the Chevron Richmond Refinery.
October 31, 2012
Chevron U.S.A. Inc. submitted to the Contra Costa County Department of Health Services an update to the 30-day report on the Richmond Refinery's August 6 incident.
September 24, 2012
Media Briefing by Chevron Richmond Refinery General Manager
Chevron Richmond Refinery General Manager, Nigel Hearne, briefs the media on the investigation into the August 6, 2012 refinery fire.
We have had numerous conversations with our neighbors over the past few weeks. What they tell us is that they have two basic questions: What happened and what we are doing about it. Today we are sharing some preliminary information that begins to answer both of those questions.
We've identified potential contributing factors such as the type of metal in the pipe that failed. Since protecting people and the environment is a core value at Chevron, we are taking appropriate action to address these issues to prevent a similar incident from happening again.
We are continuing to work cooperatively with the investigating agencies.
Root cause of the incident, and remedy:
While our process safety management incident investigation is ongoing, we suspect that the general thinning of the piping component that failed is likely due to a damage mechanism known as high temperature sulfidation corrosion. The contributing factor to the failure may be low silicon content of the individual component in the carbon steel pipe system. Individual low silicon carbon-steel components can corrode at an accelerated rate not detected by even multiple corrosion monitoring locations on a piping system.
Some of our technical experts understood the mechanism of high temperature sulfidation corrosion and the impact of low silicon content. It does not appear, however, this information was effectively understood and acted upon. As part of our investigation, we will look for ways to enhance internal communication.
We are committed to understanding why this happened and to preventing a similar incident from happening again. At this time, we are conducting enhanced inspections of components in similar pipe systems.
Inspection of the pipe that failed:
I would like to address some misconceptions about our inspection system. The 8" diameter piping system in which the failure occurred is approximately 200 ft long. Through its life, it had been regularly inspected at several monitoring locations. In November 2011, in addition to inspecting numerous other piping systems, we inspected the 8" diameter system at 19 locations. Unfortunately we did not inspect the individual component that failed, which was less than 5 feet in length. We now are inspecting every individual component in carbon steel systems exposed to sulfidation corrosion conditions.
Lastly, I would like to express my full confidence in the people who work at this facility. Every one of the 1,200 employees and 300 contractors, from operators and mechanics to engineers and managers plays an important role to ensure that we maintain safe and reliable operations.
For many of our workforce, Richmond is not just a place where they work but it's also the community they call home and it's where their family and friends live.
Our business is extremely complex, and on a daily basis each and every one of our 1,500 member workforce is involved in managing our process safety.
We had a fire. We will learn what went wrong and take corrective action.
Richmond Refinery Emission Reduction History (77 KB)
Statement from Chevron Regarding San Francisco Chronicle Flare Metering Story
Facts Regarding Chevron's Response to the Richmond Refinery Fire (109 KB)
September 5, 2012, 5 p.m. PT
Today, Chevron U.S.A. Inc. submitted to the Contra Costa County Department of Health Services a 30-day report on the Richmond Refinery’s August 6th incident. The attached report provides, among other things, a timeline of the incident, emergency-response actions taken by the company and an overview of air-quality data.
As detailed in the report, a formal investigation to determine the cause of the incident is underway.
Click here to read the report.
August 21, 2012, 2 p.m. PT
A second Help Center will be open in North Richmond from Wednesday, Aug. 22, through Friday, Aug. 24, to assist residents who want to file claims related to the Aug. 6, 2012, refinery fire.
Help Center Location:
North Richmond Community Heritage Senior Apartments, Community Room
1555 Fred Jackson Way
Richmond, CA 94801
Hours of operation:
9 a.m.–7 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 22–Friday, Aug. 24
Additionally, the last day to make a claim at the Help Center at the Nevin Community Center is Saturday, Aug. 25. The Help center will remain open until Friday, Aug. 31, for people to submit requested documentation for their claims in person, but representatives will not accept new claims after Aug. 25.
Live operators are also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for those wishing to file a claim by phone. The number is 866-260-7881.
August 9, 2012, 4 p.m.
Today, the Chevron Richmond Refinery filed an initial report on its Aug. 6 incident with the Contra Costa County Department of Health Services. The report provides, among other things, a summary of the incident, emergency response actions taken by the company and an overview of air quality data.
The report was filed with Contra Costa County as part of its 72-hour Incident Notification Policy. As detailed in the report, a formal investigation to determine the cause of the incident is under way. A 30-day report will be made publicly available.
Details from the report include:
- The fire occurred at the No. 4 Crude Unit at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 6. Preliminary information indicates the fire was near P-1149 (C-100 Atmospheric Column No. 4 Sidecut pump). This unit is currently not operational.
- Chevron has established a claims process to compensate neighbors for medical and property expenses incurred as a result of the incident.
- To date, local air quality monitors show levels of potentially toxic pollutants to be well below their reference exposure levels and not a significant health concern.
- Five minor injuries were reported by employees, three of them associated with the incident. These employees received first aid at the refinery and returned to work on the same shift.
August 9, 2012, 2 p.m.
Chevron will open a help center in Richmond on Friday, August 10, to assist residents who want to file claims related to the incident that occurred at the refinery this week.
Nevin Community Center
598 Nevin Ave.
Hours of operation:
9 a.m. - 7 p.m., Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 12 p.m., Saturday
Those wishing to file a claim by phone should call 866-260-7881. Live operators are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Residents who have already filed a claim by phone do not need to visit the help center.
We have reports that individuals may be calling members of the community about making claims. These are not Chevron representatives. There are only two ways a claim can be filed: by calling 866-260-7881 or or by visiting the help center at 598 Nevin Ave.
The claims process has been set up through Crawford and Company. We intend to compensate our neighbors for medical and property expenses incurred as a result of the incident.
Those who call the claim line will be asked a series of questions about their claim, which will then be routed to adjusters. Adjusters are attempting to respond to all claims within three days. Chevron will strive to pay appropriate and reasonable claims, including out-of-pocket medical and property-damage expenses.
August 8, 2012, 4 p.m.
Chevron Briefs Media on Richmond Refinery Incident, Aug. 8, 2012
Audio clip: Mark Ayers, Chevron Richmond's chief of emergency services, updates the media on the refinery incident.
Earlier today, a small fire, caused by and located near the initial incident, was detected and quickly extinguished at the Richmond Refinery. It resulted in no injuries and presented no threat to the public. The small "controlled burn" that had remained following Monday's incident has also been extinguished. Chevron continues to work with all appropriate government agencies to investigate the cause of Monday's incident.
The No. 4 Crude Unit remains temporarily shut down because of the incident. Other parts of the refinery unaffected by the incident continue to operate. We are making transportation fuels, but at a reduced capacity. We are cooperating fully with regulatory officials to investigate the incident and do not know how long this unit will be down.
According to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, local air quality monitors show minimal impacts from the fire, with pollution levels well below the federal health standards. Chevron will continue to work with the government and review available air quality monitoring data. More information can be found on the air district's website.
A claims process has been set up through Crawford and Company, and we intend to compensate our neighbors for medical and property expenses incurred as a result of the incident.
A information line has been established to file a claim, with live operators available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The claims number is 866-260-7881.
Those who call the claim line will be asked a series of questions about their claim, which will then be routed to adjusters. Adjusters are attempting to respond to all claims within three days. Chevron will strive to pay any appropriate and reasonable claims, including out-of-pocket expenses for medical issues and loss of property.
We also are establishing a local help center in Richmond to answer questions and assist residents with filing claims. Additional details related to the location and hours of operation of the help center will be made public when available.
August 8, 2012, 12:30 p.m.
Earlier today, a small secondary fire ignited near the initial fire location. The second fire resulted in no injuries, presented no immediate threat to the public and was extinguished in minutes. When Chevron personnel responded to the second fire, the Richmond Fire Department reported to the refinery's firehouse as backup support, which is standard operating procedure.
August 7, 2012, 4.30 p.m.
We apologize for the fire and smoke caused by yesterday's incident. Nothing is more important than safe operations, and yesterday we did not meet that expectation.
The fire is now under control. We are currently working on cleanup and investigation. We will continue to work with government agencies to determine the cause of the incident and strive to see that it never happens again. We will work hard to repair the refinery so that we can provide consumers with the fuel products they need.
We recognize the importance of sharing information as it becomes available and plan to do so at tonight's town hall at 6 p.m. at the Richmond Memorial Auditorium and in ongoing community updates.
A claims process has been set up through Crawford and Company, and we intend to compensate our neighbors for medical and property expenses incurred as a result of the incident. We also will see to it that communities be reimbursed for the costs they face for emergency personnel who responded to last night's incident.
If you wish to file a claim, please call 866-260-7881. We will respond to these claims as promptly as possible.
At the same time, we are continuing to work with community leaders and city officials to make things right. We value their input and, as a member of the Richmond community for more than 100 years, we are committed to the success of this city.
We thank the firefighters and first responders, including those from other companies and cities. Their courage and professionalism made the best of a difficult situation.
If you have any additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call 510-242-2000.
August 7th 2012, 04:30 AM
We sincerely apologize to the community for this incident and we thank them for sheltering in place last night. We are working with our own team as well as additional investigators to identify the cause of this fire. We do not have any new information at this time.
We want to thank all of the firefighters from our Chevron crew and all of the other fire fighting crews and emergency responders who provided mutual aid for their efforts to safely extinguish the fire.
The main fire has now been extinguished. Safety officials are allowing a small controlled burn as a safety measure to reduce pressure. This is helping to ensure more hydrocarbons don’t escape. This is similar in concept to how refineries utilize flares.
The shelter in place was ended by Contra Costa County Health Services at 11:31 pm last night. The Refinery also ended our shelter in place by 11:49 pm last evening.
All employees and contractors are safely accounted for. Three employees sustained minor injuries and were treated on site.
The fire started at the facility’s 4 crude unit at approximately 6:30 pm. The source of the fire is still under investigation.
Approximately 20 response vehicles and 80 firefighters were on scene responding to the incident, including Chevron’s emergency response team, teams from other Contra Costa refineries and fire crews from Richmond, El Cerrito, Rodeo, Hercules and Orinda-Moraga that provided mutual aid. We want to again thank them for their exceptional efforts.
Again we apologize for the fire and the concern we have caused our community. We are now working to determine the cause of this incident so that we can thoroughly address this situation and prevent such an incident from occurring in the future.
August 7, 2012, 2 p.m.
Chevron Briefs Media About Richmond Refinery Incident
Audio clip: Mark Ayers, Chevron Richmond's chief of emergency services, responded to media questions about the refinery incident.
August 7, 2012, 7:15 a.m.
The main fire has now been extinguished. Safety officials are allowing a small controlled burn as a safety measure to reduce pressure. This is helping to ensure more hydrocarbons don't escape. This is similar in concept to how refineries utilize flares.
The shelter-in-place order was ended by Contra Costa County Health Services at 11:31 p.m. last night. The Refinery also ended our shelter-in-place order by 11:49 p.m. last evening.
All employees and contractors are safely accounted for. Three employees sustained minor injuries and were treated on site.
August 6, 2012, 11 p.m.
Update: The fire at Chevron's Richmond, California Refinery has been contained.
Richmond Refinery Manager Addresses Incident
Chevron's Richmond Refinery Manager Nigel Hearne Addresses Refinery Incident
August 6, 2012, 7:50 p.m.
A fire started at our No. 4 Crude Unit at 6:15 pm today. At this time we do not have details about the cause of the incident. All employees have been safely accounted for. One employee has a minor injury and is receiving first aid treatment.
We have comprehensive plans and procedures in place to respond to situations like the one we are facing. We are working with all appropriate local authorities.
We will take all measures necessary to provide for the safety and security of our facilities and the surrounding community.
We are responding to this incident as quickly as we can and are deploying highly trained personnel to assess and manage the situation.
We will not speculate on the cause of this incident. Our priority right now is containing the fire and protecting the health and safety of our employees and community.
We will provide updates as more information can be confirmed.