Wednesday, May 12, 1999

Chevron: Barbers
Point ruptured pipe
won't affect gas supply

By Rob Perez


A ruptured pipe at Chevron Corp.'s Barbers Point refinery prompted the company to shut down the plant that primarily produces gasoline for Hawaii, a Chevron official said today.

Albert Chee Jr., a company spokesman, said the external pipe ruptured May 2 and was expected to keep the plant off line about a week to 10 days. He couldn't say this morning whether the plant had resumed operation. But Chee stressed that the shutdown did not affect Chevron's ability to supply its customers with gasoline. Chevron is Hawaii's market leader.

Several refinery accidents on the West Coast the past several months curtailed gas supplies there, contributing to a major spike in retail prices along the West Coast. Those prices, however, have since started to come down.

The Barbers Point incident, which was attributed to mechanical failure, has not triggered any price increases. During a shutdown, Chevron can purchase gas from Tesoro Hawaii, operator of Oahu's other refinery, or ship gas from Chevron's West Coast operations, Chee said.

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