Meet Matthew Payne – Business Manager for Oils Planning at the Richmond Refinery


Matthew Payne

Refinery Business Manager of Oils Processing

Years: 20 with Chevron: Pascagoula (15), Salt Lake City (2), Richmond (3)

Education: BA in Chemical Engineering from UA South Alabama

Tell me about your job.

I ensure the Refinery can meet the demands of all the customers in the Bay Area. We balance guaranteeing our customer base has all the products they need for business and personal use, while making sure that we run the Refinery in a way that maximizes our profitability and minimizes our impact on the environment.

What is unique about the customer demands of the Bay Area?

Because of the area’s population density, we depend on the transportation fuels the Richmond Refinery produces to keep us on the move: from 20% of the cars using our gasoline to nearly two-thirds of the airplanes at SFO using our jet fuel. That’s a lot of folks traveling to grandma’s birthday or other occasions that place their faith in our reliable supply stream!

How many products does the Richmond Refinery produce?

Mostly we produce gasoline, jet fuel, diesel and lubricating base oils. The production of lubricating base oils is unique to the Refinery as we are the only producer of this important product on the West Coast. The design of the Refinery also allows some flexibility in the products we make all while keeping us one of the most energy efficient refineries in California. This enables us to meet local market demands and serve Bay Area residents and businesses.

What are the advantages of California-grade gasoline to the consumer?

California requires a special blend of gasoline that is specifically designed to produce fewer emissions. Together with Chevron with Techron, when you put California-grade gasoline in your engine, it runs smoother and produces fewer emissions. As a result, Californians enjoy cleaner air and less pollution from the cars on the road, which makes a huge difference in air quality, specifically in the valleys.

What do you like to do in Richmond?

My wife and I have a tradition: we go to Little Louie’s in Point Richmond and get French toast and bacon every other Friday. We then love to walk along the shoreline in Point Richmond after breakfast. I’ve taken my daughter to the Rosie the Riveter museum, too.

What is it like to work for Chevron?

I’ve been with Chevron for nearly two decades and worked at three different refineries. From the day I started with the company, the thing I value above all else is that I always can speak my mind – and am always listened to. In Richmond specifically, I’ve been struck by the value placed upon employee volunteering in the community. We participate in activities put on by the local school district and GRIP, just to name a few. Those activities really show that the employees here care about making the area where we do business a better community. This brings me a lot of pride.