Earthquake early warning: Opportunity to prevent/limit damage to people and property at California refineries and oil production facilities

Nunn, Jeffrey A. (Chevron Energy Technology Company, Houston, TX) | Rubin, Tod (Chevron Energy Technology Company, San Ramon, CA)


Chevron operates refineries in the San Francisco Bay area and Los Angeles basin, and oil production facilities in the San Joaquin Valley, that could be negatively impacted by a large earthquake. An Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) System can provide seconds to tens of seconds warning prior to damaging ground shaking from a major earthquake in or near California. Other countries (e.g., Japan, Taiwan, and Mexico) have instituted early warning systems that have reduced damage to people and property. With planning, training, and/or automation, seconds to tens of seconds or warning can reduce damage to people and property. EEW is a risk management tool to reduce overall risk, balancing seismic risk against other personal and process safety risks. Chevron envisions a tiered response: a lower tier of low cost, low risk responses for lower magnitude seismic events and a high tier of more extensive response for higher magnitude events. Examples of low tier responses include: issue warning and instructions to move to a secure location, secure and evacuate elevators, laboratories, and heavy equipment such as cranes. Higher tier responses would include all low tier response plus actions (to be determined, based on overall risk) such as depressurization or emergency shutdown of major equipment or processes. Chevron is also interested in using EEW’s soon to be released predicted ground motion map to prioritize response/resources to most heavily impacted areas.

Presentation Date: Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Start Time: 8:30:00 AM

Location: 211A (Anaheim Convention Center)

Presentation Type: Oral