Marathon Martinez Announces Refinery Is Now “Indefinitely Idled”

August 1, 2020 13:53 pm · 55 comments

The Marathon Petroleum Co. will “indefinitely idle” its refinery in unincorporated Contra Costa County and convert the site to a terminal facility, the company announced on its website Friday night.

The company is also putting a New Mexico refinery on indefinite hold and announced that most jobs would be lost at the two sites, with phased layoffs starting in October.

“We are also evaluating the strategic repositioning of Martinez to a renewable diesel facility, which aligns with California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standards objectives and MPC’s greenhouse gas reduction targets,” the company’s website announced.

Plummeting demand for gasoline amid COVID-19 coronavirus-related travel restrictions put the Marathon Martinez Refinery on a temporary hold in April and the facility began winding down production.

The refinery employs about 740 people and can process 161,000 barrels of crude oil per day. The refinery produces gasoline, diesel fuel, distillates, petroleum coke, propane, heavy fuel oil and refinery-grade propylene.

The refinery opened in 1913, and was called the Avon Refinery, named for the unincorporated Contra Costa County area north of Concord and east of Martinez. Since then, operators have included Phillips, Tosco, Ultramar Golden Eagle and Tesoro. Marathon bought the refinery in 2018.

Sam August 1, 2020 at 2:04 PM

Sucks for the workers. They should just tear it down, build homes and open Concords waterfront.

The Wizard August 1, 2020 at 3:24 PM

It would cost a mint to clean up that ground. They would have to encapsulate it with a rubber barrier. And the trees they plant over it will have to be shallow rooted.

whome August 1, 2020 at 3:26 PM

It will be interesting to see what happens. That land is likely a toxic cesspool. Chevron, to avoid having to deal with the soil under the old Ortho Chem plant, wound up keeping some workers there (for training, misc), and installing an asphalt cap. It would be extremely expensive to make that land suitable for residential zoning…

Many years ago, Chevron sold a refinery in Philadelphia for $1, with the stipulation that the new owner would be responsible for the soil from that point on. I doubt you’ll ever see home there, LOL

The Wizard August 1, 2020 at 4:16 PM

whome… I worked at Ortho from time to time performing Maint. It was a pest hole. It made the main refinery look like paradise .

Sam August 1, 2020 at 5:41 PM

It was done down the road in rodeo, it can be done here.

Senior August 2, 2020 at 8:24 AM

Sam, when I saw your comment, I thought Concord waterfront? I have lived here twenty-five years and thanks to you, I goggled Concord CA boundaries and saw you were right! I forgot about the naval weapons area! You taught an old dog a trick! Thank you!

whome August 2, 2020 at 3:46 PM

Hate to reveal I’m an old dude (60), but as a kid, my Father purchased a boat, and he moored it at the Concord Marina. There was an old marina off waterfront road. All terms generously used. Wasn’t much of a boat, nor much of a Marina, LOL…

He kept it until my Mother learned of it, and he had to sell it. It was likely more valuable as firewood. Leaked terribly, also.

Regarding the Rodeo refinery that was closed down, that is true. But I’d wager that the contamination level of the soil was much different than under Chevron, or the Marathon (Martinez) refinery. Chevron don’t forget, has been there since like 1900. I’ve seen the soil when they “farm it”, in prep to build a new plant. It’s purple, blue, all kinds of colors when tilled, LOL. I worked at a plant next to the Cogen plant when it was built.

FWIW, I was checking out city boundaries, and it’s not crystal clear (at least to me) which city that Marathon refinery is in, it appears to be Martinez…

The Wizard August 3, 2020 at 8:26 AM

Whome, did you work in the 4 crude area ? I did a little time at the Richmond Ref too. Chevron loves to put gravel down or pave over the good stuff.

whome August 3, 2020 at 12:27 PM

@The Wizard

D&R West, the gas / jet plants. #4, 5 Rhen, NHT, JHT, etc.

Small World!

The Wizard August 3, 2020 at 7:28 PM

Whome…. I did 35 years in the Maint / Inspection. Proud to be a Chevron retiree….. Small world indeed…….worked a lot of S/Ds in your area.

Sancho Panza August 1, 2020 at 2:06 PM

It is sad to see the dominoes falling with this Covid-19! I feel the worst is yet to come with this cumulative effect on the economy, our lives and future…

Sam August 1, 2020 at 3:11 PM

There is no way around it. The green new deal is being implemented. The global powers have decided and we are powerless in the matter. It’s gonna suck but new technology is coming online and should be “cleaner”..I can’t see how our local “leaders” are ok with so many people losing their work

Something witty August 1, 2020 at 3:58 PM

You do realize that new jobs will open up in place of these refinery jobs right? Hah

Sam August 1, 2020 at 4:12 PM

Yes. Hopefully there will be training opportunities with pay for the displaced workers. How does this affect concords tax revenue?

Kirkwood August 1, 2020 at 2:07 PM

I fear that many jobs lost are going to be living wage jobs with specialized skills. Even after the economy picks up the remaining refineries probably won’t be able pick up many workers and they will have to move to areas where their skills might be needed, S. Calif. Texas, etc. Sad.

Rico August 1, 2020 at 5:19 PM

I was thinking the exact same thing. With their skills, they’ll likely be moving to Texas. But that’s assuming the Texas economy doesn’t crash due to the worldwide drop in demand for oil.

ptpauly57 August 2, 2020 at 9:04 AM

Refinery Operators make around $48 an hour. rotating 12 hours shifts, weekends, holidays, etc. It is a 24/7 job and is dangerous. Hot oil, high pressures, chemicals,etc.And part of the job duties requires you to wear a mask,as in a respirator, though usually not all shift but a lot of the maintenance workers will wear a respirator or fresh air all shift usually 8-10 hours.

Tax loss for COCO county will be large, but it will be a terminal, shipping fuels through out the Bay Area.

Trena August 1, 2020 at 2:33 PM

How sad my daughter will lose her job😢. Damn Covid.

Yves Harlowe August 1, 2020 at 3:20 PM

I sorry for your daughter. Some commenters think it’s just fine, and the state can just take care of all of the unemployed people.

RT August 2, 2020 at 2:21 AM

yea, Progressive thinks it’s all good for your daughter to lose her job in order to ‘save the planet’

Ash August 1, 2020 at 2:40 PM

too bad the bleeding hearts say it is bad for the earth, otherwise it seems like they could export the oil/gas and be able to keep the jobs…

Kirkwood August 1, 2020 at 4:01 PM

Ash – Although the U.S. does export some oil, mostly to Canada and Mexico, we are a net importer of oil. I feel we should not export any petroleum product at all. We might need it 1-200 years from now and we will be at the mercy of foreign countries. In fact I think our country should be prepared to be totally self sufficient within our borders. We are able to feed ourselves, unlike China which now must import food to feed it’s population in the manner to which they have become accustomed. Rice, 70% of the US lobster harvest, 80% of our almond crop (with water from N.Calif).

Puffandstuuf August 1, 2020 at 2:58 PM

@ progressive … do you need attention?

I know a few people that work there I’m so sorry they will now be jobless. Good hardworking young adults. What a shame.

BURNBABYBURN August 1, 2020 at 3:02 PM

Maybe they can get jobs with the progressives looting, burning and destroying small businesses. That’s good for the planet, right?

Original G August 1, 2020 at 3:12 PM

New Mexico facility according to news stories began idling back on April 15. It processed only 26,000 barrels per day.
Company website says 220 employees.

Figure for each employee let go effects 3 – 5 employees of companies providing products, services.

My understanding from bits n pieces heard at my work severe enforcement and reporting demands implemented against all industry and not by the state. Unknown if that contributed to their decision.

If I were going to start a manufacturing or refining business California wouldn’t even be on the list of possible locations.

Skill crafts persons will have no problem finding jobs, given crafts retirement rate of local industry.

The Fearless Spectator August 1, 2020 at 5:37 PM

If I were to start any kind of business, California wouldn’t be on the list.

Now, should the Governor be recalled and replaced with someone who likes people that work, then I might consider California again.

JG27AD August 1, 2020 at 3:13 PM

A win for China !! Wuhan virus with help from California regulations kills a few thousand good paying jobs.

Perhaps the land can be made into pasture to fuel the horses that progressives will use for transportation and farming.

Sam August 1, 2020 at 3:13 PM

I hear they are hiring contact tracers.. and bill gates says learning to code is easy

The Wizard August 1, 2020 at 3:18 PM

What a loss of some good paying jobs. Thanks China

Bob August 1, 2020 at 3:50 PM

Thanks Dems

The Wizard August 1, 2020 at 4:21 PM

Bob your right, those damn Dems. Hey what ever it takes to get Old Joe in and inject that Green New Deal in are country’s veins, for the kill.

Original G August 1, 2020 at 3:32 PM

The liberal mind is so entertaining.
De Libertas Quirkas

The Fearless Spectator August 1, 2020 at 3:47 PM

The protesters already seem to have munitions specialists on staff.

Brandi August 1, 2020 at 6:30 PM

Ouch! Reality hurts!

vindex August 1, 2020 at 7:04 PM

Great job Supervisors! Your total shutdown of our county has cost this area another 700+ mid/high paying jobs. I will work tirelessly to get you all voted out.

Joatmeal August 1, 2020 at 7:09 PM

You were able to retire at 56?

JM August 1, 2020 at 8:11 PM

I’m as liberal as they come and I also worked for Shell for 29 years in purchasing and finance. This is terrible news. Not only will the employees in the refinery lose their jobs but there will be a huge impact to the supplier base. Lots more jobs will fold. And there is no way that the tax revenue will be recovered so the entire county will feel the hit. And this is for many years to come. SMH – it’s bad news all around.

Sam August 1, 2020 at 9:17 PM

Thank you. You’re exactly right. For anyone who doesn’t understand what’s going on, I would suggest reading the Green New Deal and AGENDA 2021. These things will be happening at a rapid speed going forward. For every large business that closes there are countless smaller support businesses that will also close. 700 jobs is the number you hear but it’s way more. Think Detroit. Think tax loss. They are shutting this country down piece by piece. The goal is hopefully to create new green jobs to replace the old jobs. It’s gonna get rough if we don’t reverse corse now. Some think it’s to late.

Ven Xeter August 1, 2020 at 8:42 PM

Covid is giving us a great preview of the Green New Deal:

Bluer Skis
Less traffic on the road
Millions out of work receiving checks from the government

Cautiously Informed August 1, 2020 at 9:25 PM

So, when the Covid thing finally ends, and things normalize, the demand for gasoline will still be at an all time low? Probably not. It is a result of California Democrat government doing all it can to kill off businesses. The Covid epidemic has only forced the hand of California big business, like Marathon. Some day all that will remain in California are the demorat government parasites, snowflake Peter Pan liberals, welfare recipients, criminals, illegal aliens, and rich folks who live in fortresses.

RT August 2, 2020 at 2:09 AM

Good job socialist ‘leaders’ of california, with lowercase c, good job

RT August 2, 2020 at 2:16 AM

to the wonderful ‘leaders’ of california, you know you’re doing a super job when even the most liberal elon musk is leaving the state to do business anywhere but here

RT August 2, 2020 at 2:17 AM

purposeful lowercase on all that btw, they don’t even deserve an uppercase effort

RT August 2, 2020 at 2:24 AM

california will soon be just homeless dirt poor and the ‘fearless’ leaders they will elect, it will be wonderful

ZZ August 2, 2020 at 8:47 AM

@progressive, Maybe you need to be educated on all of the needs of petroleum.

ptpauly57 August 2, 2020 at 9:07 AM

Progressive, yes oil destroys the planet. But if you own anything plastic guess where plastic comes from. OIL! Your electric car, your electric lawn mower, your computer, your phone, your tablet all are made with oil based products.

ptpauly57 August 2, 2020 at 9:11 AM

Hey Oilman, still working at the refinery across the freeway from Marathon. Layoffs have hit us too, not ops tho.

Maintenance now contracted mainly and most are getting prevailing wages thanks to the DEMS in Sacramento. Specialized skills get specialized pay.

Take care stay safe

Ancient Mariner August 2, 2020 at 10:38 AM

I wonder if they’ll reopen Waterfront Road.
I used to enjoy that drive.

Kirkwood August 2, 2020 at 3:44 PM

I checked out the old Waterfront Rd on Google Maps. Much of the road has reverted to Nature, areas are permanently flooded, overgrown with shrubbery or gone completely. It used to be a fun drive from 680 to Shore Acres. Now not even an motorcycle could make it.

Anon August 2, 2020 at 4:57 PM

That stretch of Waterfront road from the Guard shack west to copart is lined with RVs / homeless. 10 – 15 vehicles.

Sara August 2, 2020 at 6:45 PM

@progressive you must not drive a car or ever fly on a plane.

Time to Go August 3, 2020 at 9:00 AM

Don’t worry, Mark DeSaulnier is on it, he is just so smart (wink wink). His plan is the Green New Deal to get rid of fossil fuels, that is why he was meeting with unions, environment groups and local governments (odd local companies were not involved) even before the pandemic. Not because he was concerned about the community, jobs or the economy. The pandemic is now the excuse to ruin the economy further.

“CCA Rep. Calls For Shift To Renewables Following Marathon’s” Announcement. SFGate (CA) (8/3, 2.13M) reports Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA) said in a statement on Sunday that Marathon’s decision is a “big loss for our workforce and potentially the economy. … That is why, before the pandemic hit and had a drastic impact on energy production, I started convening labor unions, environmental groups, and local governments to talk about how we prepare for a shift to sustainable energy and renewables in Contra Costa.” He added, “I will continue to bring together stakeholders to support workers, our community, and the environment and improve Contra Costa’s energy assets.”

Fed Up August 3, 2020 at 10:42 AM

When voters pass the split roll tax in November, removing Prop 13 protection from business, MANY more businesses will leave and dems will wonder why. I bet Chevron will leave for Texas…this will be the last straw. You can’t tax everyone to death..there is a breaking point and we have reached it here in CA.

American Citizen August 3, 2020 at 7:30 PM

This is the truest statement yet today. California is basically dead. Left only to the trust fund babies and welfare recipients.

American Citizen August 3, 2020 at 7:26 PM

You’re obviously have no idea what a refinery produces. It produces items that you use every single day. Including those plastic Starbucks cups that you love so much. Please don’t be ignorant and check your fax before you open your yap.

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