"Within the oil industry, Chevron Corp. has long enjoyed a reputation for safety. But the last two years have put that reputation to the test."
"In June 2011, an explosion ripped through a Chevron refinery in Wales, killing four men. Later that month, a Bakersfield man died after falling into a sinkhole filled with steam in one of the company's Kern County oil fields.
In November, an oil spill near one of Chevron's deep-sea wells off the coast of Brazil prompted fines and a criminal investigation. In January, a blow-out and fire at an offshore natural-gas platform near Nigeria killed two men and kept burning for 46 days.
And last week, a hydrocarbon leak at the company's Richmond refinery triggered a fire that a dozen workers narrowly escaped. The Aug. 6 fire closed the refinery's crude-oil processing unit, sent 9,000 people to hospitals complaining of breathing difficulties and drove up gasoline prices throughout California.
These were very different incidents, involving very different operations within a truly global company. And yet their proximity raises the question of whether something has gone wrong with Chevron's vaunted safety culture, known inside the company as 'the Chevron Way.'"