The Marathon Martinez 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 Andeavor.
The refinery was first built in 1913  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 naphtha explosion. A maintenance supervisor refused to shut down the unit after corroding valves failed to stop the flow of the extremely hazardous substance.
On December 15, 2015, thick smoke and flames could be seen rising up from the refinery. Due to the loss of a primary steam generation unit, flaring was done to release pressure. A Level 2 alert was issued to the community, recommending that they stay indoors due to smoke blowing offsite. The alert was reduced to Level 0 on the same day.
- About Martinez Refinery. Accessed 10-11-2017.
- "Tesoro Golden Eagle Fact Sheet" (PDF).
- "California Oil Refinery History". California Energy Commission. Archived from the original on 2011-10-05.
- "Shock Waves From Tosco Refinery's Fatal Blast Fateful day began with a final `I love you' to wife". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on February 23, 2012. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
- East Bay News. "Tesoro refinery incident under investigation". Retrieved 6/1/2012. Check date values in:
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