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Chevron finds it failed to inspect faulty pipe

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April 12, 2013 03:05 PM EST | AP


RICHMOND, Calif. — Chevron Corp. says it failed to properly document tests of a corroded pipe near the one that failed and caused a fire at a Northern California refinery, and the oversight led to a failure to inspect all corrosion-prone pipes in the same area.

The company on Friday released its investigative report looking into the cause of the Aug. 6 leak that led to a massive fire at its Richmond refinery. The fire sent a plume of black smoke over nearby areas.

Chevron's findings are similar to those of federal and state investigators, who also found the company had failed to properly inspect the 1970s-era pipe that leaked despite finding corrosion in other pipes nearby.

Nigel Hearne, general manager of the refinery, said Chevron will improve its inspection procedures and is inspecting every pipe in the facility.