Refineries, like the one here in Richmond, are important to the Bay Area and State of California. From gasoline, to jet and diesel fuel, and lubricating base oils, the Richmond Refinery produces the products consumers use on a daily basis.
We also play a significant role in keeping people who live in the Bay Area and Northern California on the move. The Richmond Refinery produces 20% of gasoline used by cars on Northern California roads. And more than 60% of planes at major Bay Area airports use our jet fuel.
When jet fuel inventory levels dropped to critically low levels at the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in June, a team lead by the Richmond Refinery acted quickly to keep planes moving.
Unprecedented demand created the challenge. Last year SFO experienced the highest rate of international passenger traffic growth of any airport in the United States. The numbers have continued to climb, reaching an all-time high this spring. According to published data SFO sees more than 50,000,000 passengers and 450,000 metric tons of cargo pass through its facilities on an annual basis.
“Over the last month, the airport demand exceeded 80,000 barrels a day on several occasions. We’d never seen daily volumes like that before,” said Aviation Sales Manager Chris Lingley. “Richmond’s pumping capacity couldn’t keep up with SFO demands.”
On June 15, 2016 Lingley raised the airline consortium’s concern over low inventory. A cross-functional team decided to take action in support of Chevron’s airline customers. Teams from across Chevron organized an emergency trucking bridge to supplement the pipeline deliveries. Within four days, they brought in out-of-state carrier drivers to make 24 runs a day between the Richmond and Brisbane terminals and SFO.
The effort helped to improve the inventory position while a longer-term solution was being executed. Upon close investigation, the team had identified an opportunity to improve Richmond Refinery’s jet pipeline system by replacing a section of pipe and removing a control valve bottleneck.
The Richmond Refinery team expedited equipment and material delivery and prioritized maintenance resources to execute the work. On June 27 the Refinery completed the upgrade to the pipeline ahead of schedule and incident-free.
“SFO inventory levels went from one day of supply to three days of supply, which is SFO’s sweet spot,” said Lingley. “All of our efforts have paid off.”
The Richmond Refinery produces the cleanest fuels in the country and we are one of the cleanest refineries in the world. Chevron has been proud to produce fuel for the Bay Area and call Richmond our home for more than 114 years. We look forward to continue investing in our facility and this community for years to come.