* Says 23,900 claims made following Aug crude unit blaze
* Chevron repairing Calif. unit, which is seen back in Q1
Jan 28 Chevron Corp has paid $10 million
in claims stemming from the Aug. 6 crude unit fire at its
245,000-barrels-per-day refinery in Richmond, California, the
So far, 23,900 claims have been made due to the blaze that
sent a smoke column over San Francisco Bay, according to a
letter Chevron sent on Monday to the Contra Costa County
Hazardous Materials Program, a local health department.
At least 15,000 people complaining of respiratory problems
went to area hospitals in the hours and days after the fire
In addition to individuals, Chevron said it had paid
compensation to area hospitals, city of Richmond agencies and
the Contra Costa County Hazardous Materials Program. The
compensation to the hospitals and government agencies is for
costs incurred in responding to the fire.
The company disclosed the figures in updating the progress
of an internal investigation into the fire.
The crude unit, which carries out the initial refining of
crude oil coming into the refinery and provides feedstock for
all other units, has remained shut since the blaze.
Chevron has said that because of the shut unit, motor fuel
output at the refinery has been at least halved, with other
production units operating on feedstock the company has bought.
Chevron is repairing the unit and expects to restore full
production in the first quarter of this year, the company has
The U.S. Chemical Safety Board and the California Division
of Occupational Safety and Health are also investigating the
(Reporting by Erwin Seba in Houston; Editing by Dale Hudson)