By Dave Lincoln
EXXON - PBF - TOSCO CONNECTION
The long and twisted history of how Exxon and other refiners unload their worst assets.
From: PBF Energy Thomas D. O'Malley
Thomas D. O’Malley has served as Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of PBF Energy since its formation in November 2011, served as Executive Chairman of PBF LLC and its predecessors from March 2008 to February 2013 and was our Chief Executive Officer from inception until June 2010. Mr. O’Malley has more than 30 years experience in the refining industry. He served as Chairman of the Board of Petroplus Holdings A.G., listed on the Swiss Exchange, from May 2006 until February 2011, and was Chief Executive Officer from May 2006 until September 2007. Mr. O’Malley was Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Premcor, a domestic oil refiner and Fortune 250 company listed on the NYSE, from February 2002 until December 2004, and continued as Chairman until its sale to Valero in August 2005. Before joining Premcor, Mr. O’Malley was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Tosco Corporation. This Fortune 100 company, listed on the NYSE, was the largest independent oil refiner and marketer of oil products in the United States, with annualized revenues of approximately $25.0 billion when it [TOSCO] was sold to Philips Petroleum Company in September 2001. Mr. O’Malley’s extensive experience in and knowledge of the refining industry, as well as his proven leadership skills and management experience provides the board with valuable leadership, and for these reasons we believe Mr. O’Malley is qualified to serve as Chairman of our board of directors.
Mr. Nimbley has served as PBF's Chief Executive Officer since June of 2010 and was appointed to the board of directors in October of 2014. Prior thereto, he served as a Principal for Nimbley Consultants LLC from June 2005 to March 2010, where he provided consulting services and assisted on the acquisition of two refineries. He previously served as Senior Vice President and Head of Refining for Phillips Petroleum Company and subsequently Senior Vice President and head of Refining for ConocoPhillips' domestic refining system (13 locations) following the merger of Phillips and Conoco. Before joining Phillips at the time of its acquisition of Tosco in September 2001, Mr. Nimbley served in various positions with Tosco Corporation and its subsidiaries starting in April 1993.
Spencer Abraham has served as a director of PBF Energy since October 2012. Mr. Abraham is the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the international strategic consulting firm The Abraham Group, which he founded in 2005. Prior to starting The Abraham Group, Mr. Abraham served as Secretary of Energy under President George W. Bush from 2001 through January 2005 and was a U.S. Senator for the State of Michigan from 1995 to 2001. Prior to serving as a U.S. Senator, Mr. Abraham held various other public and private sector positions in the public policy arena. Mr. Abraham serves as a director of Occidental Petroleum Corporation and GenOn Energy, Inc. and as Chairman of the Advisory Board of Lynx Global Realty Asset Fund Onshore LLC. He was previously a director of ICx Technologies and non-executive Chairman of Areva Inc. Mr. Abraham also serves on the boards or advisory committees of several private companies, including Deepwater Wind, LLC, Green Rock Energy, Sindicatum Sustainable Resources and C3. Mr. Abraham’s extensive political and financial experience in the energy sector, including as the Secretary of Energy of the United States, as a U.S. Senator and as a board member of various public companies in the oil and gas sector, provides him with unique and valuable insights into the industry in which we operate and the markets that we serve, and for these reasons we believe that Mr. Abraham is a valuable member of our board of directors.
Jefferson F. Allen
Jefferson F. Allen has served as a director of PBF Energy since its formation in November 2011 and has been a director of the Board of Directors of PBF LLC since March 2011. Mr. Allen serves as chairman of our audit committee for PBF. Mr. Allen has over 35 years experience in the oil industry. Before his retirement in 2005, Mr. Allen most recently served as the Chief Executive Officer of Premcor at the time of its sale to Valero in 2005. In addition, from 2002 until 2005 Mr. Allen served on Premcor’s Board of Directors and from 2002 until 2004 was Chairman of its Audit Committee. Prior to his service with Premcor, Mr. Allen was the Chief Financial Officer and a director of Tosco Corporation from 1990, and served as its President from 1995, until its merger with Phillips Petroleum Company in September 2001. Before joining Tosco, his previous energy industry experience was in the international exploration and production business for 14 years. Mr. Allen’s industry specific experience as a financial expert and board member of a public company, provides our board with a unique perspective and insight, and for these reason we believe Mr. Allen is a valuable member of our board of directors.
Wayne A. Budd
Wayne A. Budd has over 40 years of legal experience in the public and private sectors, and since 2004 is a Senior Counsel of Goodwin Procter LLP. Prior to that, he served as a Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel and a Director of John Hancock Financial Services Inc. from 2000 to 2004. Mr. Budd served as Group President, New England, of Bell Atlantic Corporation (now Verizon Communications Inc.) from 1996 to 2000. He served as a Senior Partner of Goodwin Procter LLP from 1993 to 1996. Mr. Budd also served on the U.S. Sentencing Commission from 1994 to 1997, which he was appointed to by President Bill Clinton. From 1992 to 1993, Mr. Budd served as an Associate Attorney General of the United States, overseeing the Civil Rights, Environmental, Tax, Civil and Anti-Trust Divisions at the Department of Justice, as well as the Bureau of Prisons. From 1989 to 1992, he was the United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts. He previously served as a director of Tosco Corp. and Premcor Inc. He currently serves as a director at McKesson Corporation. Mr. Budd is the past Chairman of the National Board of the American Automobile Association and currently serves as a director of the American Automobile Association of Southern New England. Mr. Budd’s extensive legal experience and as a board member of public entities, including in the refining sector, provides our board with a beneficial perspective and insight, and for these reasons we believe Mr. Budd is a valuable member of our board of directors.
Gene Edwards has over 35 years of experience in the energy and refining sectors. Most recently he retired from Valero in April of 2014 where he was Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer. Mr. Edwards began his career with Valero as an Analyst in Planning and Economics in 1982 and then served as Director of Business Development; Director of Petrochemical Products; Vice President of Planning and Business Development; Senior Vice President of Supply, Marketing & Transportation; Senior Vice President of Planning, Business Development and Risk Management and as Senior Vice President of Product Supply and Trading. Prior to joining Valero, he was an energy analyst with Pace Consultants and a refinery process engineer with Citgo. He previously served as a director of CST Brands, a spin-off of Valero, from May to October 2013. Mr. Edwards has served as a director of Green Plains Energy since June 2014. Mr. Edwards’ decades of experience in all aspects of the refining sector provides our board with additional industry-specific knowledge from an individual deeply connected with the independent refining sector.
Mr. Hantke has served as a director of PBF Energy since February of 2016. He brings to PBF significant experience as a financial expert and board member of public entities, including those in the refining sector. From 2002 to 2005, Mr. Hantke served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Premcor, Inc. Prior to his tenure at Premcor, Mr. Hantke served as the Corporate Vice President of Development of Tosco Corporation from 1999 to 2001. From 1993 to 1999, Mr. Hantke served as the Corporate Controller of Tosco, and from 1990 to 1993, he served as the Chief Financial Officer of Seminole Fertilizer Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tosco. Mr. Hantke has served as a director of NRG Energy since 2006 and is currently the chair of its audit committee and a member of its compensation committee. He has previously served as a director of Texas Genco, LLC, Process Energy Solutions (where he was non-executive chairman) and a director and vice-chairman of NTR Acquisition Co., a petroleum refining acquisition vehicle.
Dennis M. Houston
Dennis M. Houston has served as a director of PBF Energy since its formation in November 2011 and has been a director of the Board of Directors of PBF LLC since June 2011. Mr. Houston has approximately 40 years experience in the oil and gas industry, including over 35 years with ExxonMobil and its related companies. At the time of his retirement from ExxonMobil in May 2010, Mr. Houston held the positions of Executive Vice President Refining & Supply, Chairman and President of ExxonMobil Sales & Supply LLC and Chairman of Standard Tankers Bahamas Limited. Mr. Houston’s experience also includes engineering and management positions in Exxon’s refining organization and positions in Lubes and Supply. Mr. Houston’s extensive operational experience in the oil and gas industry, including as a manager of a global refining organization, provides him with valuable insight into the markets in which we operate and provides a unique perspective to our board, and for these reasons we believe that Mr. Houston is qualified to serve on our board.
Edward F. Kosnik
Edward F. Kosnik has served as a director of PBF Energy since February 20, 2013. Mr. Kosnik serves on our audit committee. For almost 30 years he worked in various fields including banking, insurance, real estate, technology, manufacturing and energy, holding positions that included Chairman, President and CEO, and CFO. Before his retirement in 2001, he most recently served in positions including President and Chief Executive Officer of Berwind Corporation, a diversified, industrial real estate and financial services company, from 1997 until 2001. Previously he served as Executive Vice President and CFO of Alexander and Alexander Inc. from 1994 to 1997 and as Chairman, President and CEO of JWP Inc. from 1992 to 1994. In addition, Mr. Kosnik has served on the boards and audit committees of Steelpath MLP Funds Trust from January 2010 to December 2012, Semgroup Energy Partners LP from July 2008 to November 2009, Premcor Inc. from November 2004 to September 2005, and Buckeye Partners LP from December 1986 to September 2007. Mr. Kosnik also served on Marquette University’s Board of Trustees and its audit committee from September 2006 to September 2009. Mr. Kosnik’s experience as a financial expert and board member of public entities including in the refining and logistics sectors, provides our board with a beneficial perspective and insight, and for these reason we believe Mr. Kosnik is a valuable member of our board of directors.
Robert J. Lavinia
Mr. Lavinia has served as a director of PBF Energy since February 2016. He brings to PBF industry-specific experience as an executive and board member of a public refining company. He began his career at the Gulf Oil Corporation and Phibro Energy Corporation. In 1985, he took over as President and Chief Executive Officer of Hill Petroleum Company, Phibro’s refining division. In 1992, he joined Tosco Corporation, where he served as a Senior Vice President and the President of Tosco Marketing with over 6,000 gas and convenience stores in 32 states with more than 20,000 employees. From 2002 to 2006, he served on the board of Transcor SA, a Belgium-based company with trading operations around the world, and from 2005-2006, he served as Chairman of Pasadena Refining, a Transcor subsidiary. In 2007, he joined Petroplus Holdings AG, the largest European independent refining and wholesale marketing company and he became the CEO in March 2008. In September 2009, he retired from Petroplus and remained a board member until 2012. Mr. Lavinia was formerly a director at Big West Oil.
Eija Malmivirta has over 40 years of experience in the energy sector. Ms. Malmivirta served in various positions at Neste Oy from 1969 to 1996, most recently as an Executive Vice President, Head of Neste International Oil Trading and Supply. She served as the Chairman and principal owner of Merei Energy Oy Ltd., an oil trading company, from 1996 to 2002. Ms. Malmivirta served as a member of the Board of Directors of Kemira Oyj, a chemical company from 1997 to 2008, VR Group Ltd. (Finnish Railways) from 1993 to 2006, National Emergency Supply Agency from 1997 to 2009, all located in Helsinki, Finland. She was also a board member for Tosco Corporation from 1997 to 2001, Premcor from 2002 to 2004 and Petroplus from 2006 to 2011. Ms. Malmivirta’s extensive oil industry expertise and public entity board member experience, including in the refining sector, provides our board with added depth and strategic insight.
[TOSCO WAS BOUGHT IN 2001 BY PHILLIPS WHICH MERGED WITH CONOCO TO FORM CONOCO PHILLIPS IN 2002 AND LATER SPUN OFF ASSETS TO FORM PHILLIPS 66 IN 2012.]
Thomas D. O'Malley
TOSCO CONOCO PHILLIPS
A fire ripped through part of a refinery in Delaware City on Friday afternoon.
1. History of Tosco Corporation – FundingUniverse
by David Lincoln
Template Tosco was founded in 1955 under the name Oil Shale Corporation. The company was incorporated under the laws of the state of Nevada, but made its headquarters in the Los Angeles area. The project won some early support from the U.S. government, but interest from other sources was meager and the initiative soon died out.
in 1965 when it joined West Coast oil giant Atlantic Richfield in forming the Colony Shale Oil Project.. It sold part of its interest in Colony Shale Oil to Atlantic Richfield for $8 million, staggered some observers in the investment community by leveraging itself to the hilt, and then went on a buying spree. In 1970 it acquired the Signal Oil & Gas refinery in Bakersfield, California, for $22.5 million. In 1976 it acquired $222 million of Phillips Petroleum's West Coast property, including the giant Avon Refinery in Concord, California. These moves gave the company a refining capacity of more than 200,000 barrels per day, making it the third-largest independent refiner in the United States and the largest supplier of gasoline to independent marketers on the West Coast. Morton Winston, a lawyer who became a full-time executive with the company in 1964, was named president in 1971 . Morton Winston was an anomaly in an industry in which most top managers had backgrounds in geology, engineering, or finance. As a graduate student in the early 1950s, he aspired to become a literary scholar and chairman of a college English department. Later, after a stint in the Coast Guard, he entered Harvard Law School. After graduating from Harvard in 1958, Winston spent a year clerking for Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, then joined a New York law firm that specialized in advising small, entrepreneurial companies. He made his first contacts with Oil Shale Corporation in 1961 and joined the company shortly thereafter.
As chief executive officer of Tosco, Winston made no effort to hide his unusual background in the humanities. He composed poetry in his spare time and encouraged his executives to memorize Bartlett's Quotations. Associates said that he conducted meetings not unlike a soft-spoken college professor conducting a class. But all the points that Winston earned on style would have gone for naught if the company had not fared well during his tenure. Despite his admission that Tosco had moved into the refining business rather later than it should have, the company nonetheless showed a tenfold increase in earnings between 1975 and 1980.
In 1980 the Atlantic Richfield Company sold its 60 percent share in Colony to Exxon Corporation for $300 million. Construction began at last on a processing plant that was scheduled to be completed in 1986 or 1987. Questions about the plant, however, soon presented themselves. Rising capital costs (from 1980 to 1982, Exxon and Tosco spent $400 million between them on Colony) and a levelling off in the price of crude oil raised doubts about the economic feasibility of the project.
For its part, Tosco received $380 million worth of compensation from Exxon for its share of Colony. The initial agreement between the two companies had stipulated that Exxon would have to buy out its stake in the venture if it ever pulled out, and Tosco exercised that clause in the contract.
This attempt to recover from the Colony disaster was insufficient to forestall a major reorganization. With Tosco reeling from a first quarter loss of nearly $77 million and still saddled with more than $700 million in bank debt, Morton Winston stepped down as CEO in June 1983 and was replaced by Matthew Talbot. One of Talbot's first acts was to announce the layoffs of 15 top executives and the consolidation of Tosco's seven divisions into two.
The reorganization did little to ease Tosco's difficulties. Sagging crude oil and gasoline prices made things difficult for a company that suddenly found refining to be its sole source of support. Tosco lost over $677 million between 1983 and 1986, and, after buying out dissident shareholders inspired by Good, found itself so deeply in debt that its creditors decreed that it should hire investment banker Bear Stearns to help arrange a takeover. There were, however, no takers. The company's stock fell to $2.75 per share, down from its high of $45 in 1980. Feeling that a change of leadership was necessary, Tosco's directors forced Talbot to resign in June of 1986 and replaced him two months later with company chairman Clarence Frame. In the meantime, Tosco sold its Bakersfield refinery to Texaco for $22 million.
The next year 1988, Argus Energy, a Connecticut-based investment partnership, announced that it had acquired a 40-percent interest in Tosco. In 1989 the company acquired Seminole Fertilizer, but this did not stop the widespread takeover speculation and uncertainty over Tosco's status. Later that year, Argus Energy head man Thomas O'Malley, by now a Tosco director, succeeded Clarence Frame as chief executive officer.
One of the company's first actions under O'Malley was to announce that it was entertaining takeover bids. Tosco claimed that at least three multinational corporations made offers, but refused to announce the identity of the suitors. Informed speculation had it that one suitor was British Petroleum, which was said to be interested in establishing a presence on the West Coast through Tosco's Avon refinery. Neither party ever confirmed that this was so, however.
Tosco declared in 1991 that none of the offers it had received were satisfactory, and that it would remain independent. The company then declared that it would consolidate operations and cut administrative costs by closing down its headquarters in Santa Monica, California. Initially, Tosco declared that it would find a headquarters site in northern California, closer to the Avon refinery. But it ultimately wound up moving to Stamford, Connecticut, the home of Argus Energy.
Indeed, the move may have signalled that Tosco intended to shift geographical direction and develop a presence on the East Coast as significant as its presence on the West Coast. In December 1992 the company acquired Exxon's Bayway refinery[BUILT IN 1909], located in Linden, New Jersey, for $175 million. The acquisition made it the second-largest independent refiner in the United States.
Principal Subsidiaries: AZL Resources, Inc.; Diablo Service Corp.; Seminole Fertilizer Corp.; The Lion Group, Ltd.; The Oil Shale Corp.; Tosco Corp.; Tosco International Finance; Toscopetro Corp.; Tosco Trading, Transportation & Supply, Inc.; Western Hemisphere Corp.
Source: International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 7. St. James Press, 1993.
COLONY OIL SHALE PROJECT
Over time the project was developed by a consortium of different companies until it was terminated by Exxon on 2 May 1982 a day which is known amongst locals as "Black Sunday".
In 1969 Atlantic Richfield Company joined the project acquiring part of Tosco's stake.
In 1974 Ashland Oil and Shell Oil Company joined the project. In the late 1970s Standard Oil of Ohio, Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company, Shell and Ashaland Oil sold their shares to Atlantic Richfield Company. As a result of these transactions Tosco owned 40% of shares and Atlantic Richfield Company owned 60% of shares in the project.
In 1980 Atlantic Richfield Company sold its share to Exxon for $300 million. In 1981 the Colony Development started a construction of the commercial scale shale oil plant. On 2 May 1982 Exxon announced the termination of the project because of low oil-prices and increased expenses laying off more than 2,000 workers resulting in the date becoming known among locals as "Black Sunday". According to the shareholders agreement in a case of project termination Exxon had an obligation to buy out Tosco's shares. It paid $380 million worth of compensation.
During its existence the project produced 270 thousand barrels (43×103 m3) of shale oil.[ WORTH ABOUT 5.4 MILLION AT $20 barrel]
At the moment of cancellation the estimated costs would exceed $5.5 billion in then-year dollars or about $10 billion in 2005 dollars.
1. History of Tosco Corporation – FundingUniverse
Tosco Corporation is one of the largest independent refiners of petroleum products in the United States. Once a major player in American efforts to develop ...
2. Tosco Corporation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tosco (The Oil Shale COrporation) was an independent US based petroleum refining and marketing corporation. It was founded in 1955 in Santa Monica, ...
leaving Tosco unable to keep the venture viable in spite of a $1.1 million loan guarantee from the U.S. government. Exxon claimed the project's projected $6 billion price tag made the project no longer feasible, but Exxon was required to purchase Tosco's 40% share in the project as a result of their withdrawal.
In 1996, Tosco acquired the Circle K chain of convenience stores. In 1997, Tosco bought the rights to the Union 76brand of gas stations and the western United States refining and marketing operations from Unocal.
Tosco merged with Phillips Petroleum in 2001.  Phillips merged with Conoco in 2002 to become ConocoPhillips, who spun off the Circle K stores to Canadian-based Alimentation Couche-Tard.
1999 refinery accident
On February 23, 1999, four workers at the Avon Refinery in Concord were burned to death after they tried to replace a leaky oil pipe. The San Francisco Chronicle reported  that one Tosco employee, Anthony Creggett, claimed shortly after the fire that plant managers had refused a request by four workers to shut down the high-temperature distillation tower during the repairs on the pipe.
3. Oil Merger: Phillips Buys Tosco for $7B - ABC News
With its $7 billion stock purchase of Tosco Corp., Phillips Petroleum Co. added considerable heft to its refining operations at a time when the oil industry is ...
4. Phillips Petroleum Agrees to Buy Tosco - latimes
Feb 5, 2001 ... Phillips Petroleum Co. said Sunday that it will acquire Tosco Corp. for $7 ... Combining with Tosco, Phillips would have a refining capacity of 1.7 ...
Tosco, already the No. 3 refiner with eight facilities, has two gasoline refineries in California--one in Wilmington, the other east of San Francisco--that turn out an average of 240,000 barrels a day, or about 21% of the state's output. Tosco is based in Stamford, Conn.
It also accounts for about 17% of gasoline sales in the state through its 2,100 stations under the "76" brand. Overall, it operates 6,400 gas stations in 32 states.
5. Tosco Refining California | Mesothelioma and Asbestos Jobsites
Tosco Refining California, an oil refinery with a location in Wilmington, California employed oil refinery workers that may have been exposed to asbestos and ...
Since the 1980s, however, the company has backed off those efforts and now focuses solely on standard petroleum-based fuels and phosphate-based fertilizers.
Tosco operates large refineries in Wilmington and Martinez, California (near Los Angeles).
Oil Shale Corporation in 1955. It was headquartered in Los Angeles. Over time, Oil Shale made some strategic alliances that allowed it to grow, including joining with Atlantic Richfield in 1965 and acquiring the Signal Oil and Gas refinery in Bakersfield in 1970
In the News
In February of 1999, Tosco's Martinez refinery was the site of an explosion in which four workers died. In November of that year, Tosco's Wilmington refinery was the site of a fire in a holding tank. No injuries were reported, and the blaze was contained.
Tiny particles of asbestos enter into the atmosphere, however, as asbestos-containing transite ages and becomes prone to crumbling. Asbestos when it is in this state is called friable, which is defined as easy to pulverize. In addition, industrial kilns often contained friable asbestos in insulation linings.
The Problem with Friable Asbestos
Asbestos fibers, when friable, can be readily dispersed into the environment. Medical conditions like asbestosis and cancer can result from the inhalation of asbestos. Another uncommon, and generally fatal, disease linked to asbestos is mesothelioma. The pleural variety of mesothelioma, one which affects the tissue that lies between the lungs and the pleural cavity, is the most common. When the airborne particles settle on food or drinks and are subsequently swallowed, pericardial or peritoneal mesothelioma can result, although they are less common than pleural mesothelioma.
Increased pressure from the press, medical scientists and citizen groups forced the creation of rules controlling how to use asbestos. The use of asbestos was more prevalent, however, when places like Tosco Corporation were built. Any asbestos that remains from then may still pose a health hazard if care is not taken during remodeling projects.
The Lurking Hazard of Asbestos
Asbestos-related diseases, unlike most work-related injuries, which are readily observed and known about soon after the incident, can take many, many years to develop. When a former employee starts showing symptoms such as breathlessness, pain in the chest or abdomen and chronic coughing, his or her physician might not immediately recognize asbestos exposure as a cause, leading to a delay in diagnosis. Men and women who were employed by or lived near oil refineries like Tosco Corporation's California facilities therefore should ask their doctors for mesothelioma information. Furthermore, spouses of these people are also in danger, as unless strict decontamination protocols, including the use of workplace-only clothing and on-site showers, were enforced, it was all too common for personnel to bring particles of asbestos on their skin, in their hair, or on their clothes. Mesothelioma surgery is available to some patients and can improve the quality of life.
Read more: http://www.mesothelioma.com/asbestos-exposure/jobsites/oil-refineries/tosco-refining-california.htm#ixzz46zpfWtti
6. Ownership of U.S. petroleum refineries has changed significantly ...
Jan 29, 2014 ... The ownership of refineries today reflects multiple changes since 2000. For example, in January 2000 Tosco (5th-largest U.S. refiner), Conoco ...
the number of refineries and companies both declined over the same period, as the concentration of refining capacity among the top five companies increased from 38% in 2000 to 44% in 2013.
[THIS INDICATES THAT CONSOLIDATION AND ACQUISITION OCCURRING AMONG THE LARGEST REFINERS WITH FEWER REFINERIES, SO WHY WERE THE NUMBER OF ACCIDENTS GOING UP]
7. Tosco Avon Refinery Petroleum Naphtha Fire - Investigations | the ...
On February 23, 1999, a fire occurred in the crude unit at Tosco Corporation. Avon oil refinery in Martinez, California. Workers were attempting to replace piping ...
Mar 28, 2001
Federal Investigation of Tosco Refinery Fire Finds Flawed Management Supervision
(Washington, DC - March 28, 2001) A fire at Tosco's Avon refinery in Martinez, California, could have been prevented by better management supervision of safety, according to the final report of the U.S. Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board (CSB). The report culminates an exhaustive two-year investigation of the 1999 petroleum fire that claimed the lives of four workers. The Avon refinery was acquired by UDS Corporation last year.
According to Board Member Irv Rosenthal, "Better management of job planning and execution could have prevented this tragedy. Our investigation uncovered two root causes of the accident. First, Avon refinery management did not have an effective process for assessing the dangers of maintenance operations and implementing needed safeguards. Second, neither the parent Tosco Corporation nor the facility management had investigated or corrected a pattern of serious unsafe practices at the Avon refinery."
The incident occurred on February 23, 1999, two years after an explosion at the refinery killed one and injured 46 others. Management deficiencies were also a significant factor in that incident, according to a federal report.
The 1999 incident occurred as workers attempted to remove and replace a leaky petroleum pipe which was attached to an operating oil distillation tower, known as a fractionator. Over a 13-day period prior to the accident, workers had repeatedly tried to isolate and drain the pipe, but leaking and corroded shut-off valves hampered their efforts. At the time of the incident, the pipe still contained a significant volume of pressurized naphtha, a highly flammable petroleum mixture similar to gasoline. While workers were in the process of replacing the pipe, the naphtha was released and burst into flame, killing the four workers. At the time of the fire, workers were p