Chevron Refinery Root Cause Analysis Posted
April 18, 2007
Chevron Refinery in Richmond has released a Root Cause Analysis related to the January 15 fire in the Crude Unit.
The report was released on Wednesday, April 18.
The report is posted on the Contra Costa Health Services website at www.cchealth.org [direct link].
The City of Richmond's Industrial Safety Ordinance requires a Root Cause Analysis be conducted after accidents occur at local refineries and chemical plants.
The County's Hazardous Materials Program staff has followed-up on corrective action and confirms that Chevron has incorporated inherently safer substitute for the piping at that location and other locations where similar situations exist within the Crude Unit and is surveying other units where similar situations may exist to modify them appropriately. Chevron is revising its procurement practices for new valves to ensure that they are leak tight when purchased as well as testing valves that have been serviced.
According to the report, the initiating cause of the fire was failure of a pipe from corrosion. Additionally, a contributing factor was that the valve adjacent to the pipe was leading process fluids into the pipe. Root Causes of this incident were related to incomplete policies for insuring that the pipe connection was done safely at the time the piping was initially installed some years ago. Policies have since been improved.
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- Randy Sawyer