Chevron Will Shrink Refining Business
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, announced that it is shrinking its refining business and will lay off workers. It did not say which refineries would be affected but will have more details in March.
Rumors are circulating that the Richmond, CA, refinery will be closed in the reorganization. The refinery, the largest greenhouse gas producer in the state, has been involved in a legal battle. Last July, the company stopped construction of a $1-billion upgrade when a state judge agreed with a lawsuit claiming that the refinery’s environmental impact report was incomplete. The company appealed the decision. The company suggested if the upgrade had been allowed to go forward, there would be reason to keep the refinery open.
As demand for oil and gas has declined in the economic downturn, refineries are struggling to make money. Other major oil companies have also announced cutbacks of various kinds: ConocoPhillips will sell some $10 billion worth of assets, and Royal Dutch Shell plans to lay off 5, 000 employees.