Golden Eagle Refinery

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The Golden Eagle Refinery refines oil into gasoline and other petroleum based products. It is located in the San Francisco Bay Area in an unincorporated area known as Avon, east of Martinez, California. The refinery is owned by Tesoro Petroleum Co.[1]

The refinery is located on 2,206 acres, has 700 full-time employees, and has a crude oil capacity of 166,000 barrels per day.[2] It is the fourth largest refinery in the state.[3]

The refinery was first built in 1903 under the name Avon Refinery, and has been continually expanded since. It was purchased by Tosco in 1976. By the 1990s, a history of poor maintenance and under-staffing gave the refinery a reputation for being a hazardous workplace. Throughout the 1990s, it led the US refining industry in the number of environmental and safety code violations. These poor conditions culminated in two catastrophic accidents. In the first, a 1997 hydrocracker explosion killed one worker. In the second of these, four workers died and a fifth was hospitalized in a 1999 naptha explosion. A maintenance supervisor refused to shut down the unit after corroding valves failed to stop the flow of the extremely hazardous substance.[4]

In November 2010, the refinery had a flaring event, due to a simultaneous PG&E utility power and Foster Wheeler co-generation plant failure, that produced large quantities of thick black smoke.[5]

In January 2014, a nationwide strike of Tesoro refineries resulted in the closure of the Martinez refinery, the only refinery closure resulting from the strike.[6][7]


  1. ^ About Golden Eagle Refinery. Accessed 13-12-2010.
  2. ^ "Tesoro Golden Eagle Fact Sheet". Tesoro Corp. 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "Shock Waves From Tosco Refinery's Fatal Blast Fateful day began with a final `I love you' to wife". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved July 24, 2012. 
  5. ^ East Bay News. "Tesoro refinery incident under investigation". Retrieved 6/1/2012.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  6. ^ [2]
  7. ^ [3]