Project Management

Project Profile: How Chevron Sustained Production in California

PMI Toronto Chapter

Bruce is the founder of, a resource for growing IT project managers.

Global energy companies face major challenges in the 21st century. Obtaining, refining and delivering their products requires constant investment and top-flight professional talent. In addition, energy prices continue to be challenging to predict. In 2008, oil prices exceeded $140 per barrel, while prices declined to less than $50 per barrel in 2015.

Apart from economic matters, energy firms are aware that the world is watching their actions concerning environmental impact. In this context, Chevron’s El Segundo Coke Drum project—winner of PMI’s Project of the Year Award in 2015—is well worth studying. The project was successful, delivered under budget and with an excellent safety record.

At A Glance: Project Facts
To set context, here are a few key facts about the El Segundo Coke Drum project.

  • Project goal: To ensure continued safe and reliable operation of the Chevron El Segundo Refinery by replacing six existing coke drums that were reaching the end of their useful life with new drums of the same size and location within the refinery. The existing coke drums periodically developed cracks that require time-consuming repairs. These repairs lowered the refinery’s production capacity by up to 35%. (What are coke drums? Coke drums are a key component in petroleum refineries that are subject to…

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