The origins of Chevron can be traced back to 1879, with the establishment of Pacific Coast Oil Co. The organization also has roots in the Standard Oil Co., which opened in 1878. A number of structural and name changes have occurred over the years, and Chevron is now a Fortune 500 company that is involved in upstream resources, downstream markets and chemicals, and in refining.
Exploration and production are a major part of the company’s mission, with plans to drill over 14 exploration/appraisal wells in 2017. It is involved in deepwater drilling, heavy oil, and natural gas. Transportation of resources is managed by Chevron Pipe Line Company, which operates several storage facilities and pipelines. It has won a Distinguished Safety and Environmental Award from the American Petroleum Institute.
Chevron Shipping Company operates a large fleet that transports liquified natural gas and crude oil. The buying, selling, and transport of crude oil is handled by Crude Supply and Trading, which has a close working relationship with both the shipping and pipe line segments of Chevron. Product and gas supply/trading entities also operate under the company’s umbrella. Also among the organization’s categories are:
- Products: The Chevron, Texaco, and Caltex brands of fuel are available to motorists, while a number of additives, chemicals, oils, lubricants, and aviation and marine products are sold to businesses.
- Lubricants: Finished products range from motor oil to heavy industrial equipment lubricants. These are available worldwide through the company’s fuel brands.
- Chemicals: Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC is a joint venture that markets a leading brand, Oronite®. The chemicals produced contribute to the manufacturing of over 70,000 products. Additives enable various lubricants to prevent corrosion, reduce friction, and dissolve deposits.
- Power: Chevron Power and Energy Management is involved in gas-fired and renewable power. In addition to operating cogeneration facilities, it is also vested in wind, geothermal, and solar energy.
Also, the organization operates oil refineries in Mississippi, California, Thailand, Singapore, and South Korea. Just six of them account for 88 percent of its crude oil refining capacity, according to the company. Projects also include drilling 30,000 feet below the Gulf of Mexico and developing projects in Kazakhstan, Angola, Australia, and the Asia-Pacific regions as well as in the North Sea.
Accidents at Chevron
The company is committed to protecting people and the environment. It is focused on the health and safety of its 51,000 employees and contractor workforce of over 177,000 people. Evaluating job hazards is part of its protocol, and the company reported 0.016 lost work days, per 200,000 work-hours, in 2016. It has also demonstrated a commitment to process safety.
Notable accidents in Chevron history include an explosion at a refinery in Wales, in June 2011. Four workers were killed and, in the same month, a man was killed after falling into a steam-filled sinkhole at an oil field. A January blow out and fire killed two men on an offshore natural gas platform, located near Nigeria. In August, a fire was triggered by a hydrocarbon leak, but a dozen workers managed to escape.
In January 2012, another incident in Nigeria led to two contractors going missing after an offshore gas well caught fire. The structure partially collapsed; an oil major suspected surface equipment collapsed prior to the ignition.
The Gulf of Mexico has also been the site of fatal Chevron accidents. In October 2015, the company reported that a worker was killed in an accident aboard a drill ship, south of Lake Charles, Louisiana. Chevron was operating the ship, while the worker was employed by Pacific Drilling. However, not all fatal accidents and injuries occur on rigs and ships. In 2016, a helicopter crashed as it was headed toward a Chevron-owned platform, killing six people. There were five passengers, four of which were contractors.
Accidents at Chevron facilities have had far-reaching impacts. In August 2012, a refinery in Richmond, California sustained a major fire that injured six employees and released harmful compounds throughout the area. It was estimated that 15,000 people had visited hospitals for respiratory symptoms. Five years later, the state issued refinery safety regulations to better anticipate problems and prevent accidents like this one, which are potentially dangerous to workers and communities nearby oil refining facilities.