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Chevron Considered Replacing Pipe

Chevron officials initially deemed the pipe that failed dramatically last week, causing a major fire at its Richmond refinery, as possibly needing replacement last year but ultimately cleared it for five more years of service, The Chronicle has learned.

Investigators with the U.S. Chemical Safety Board and other federal and state agencies have launched several inquiries into the Aug. 6 leak and fire. Both the damage and the investigations could leave part of the crude oil processing unit down for months.

A key issue is the decisions company officials made last fall, when the unit was shut down for annual inspection and repairs.

At the time, Chevron officials examined both the line that failed and a larger companion line linked to it, company officials said. Both pipes were fed from a 16-inch connection to the crude oil unit’s distillation tower and served to route hot hydrocarbons away for cooling and processing.

Source: SF Chronicle

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