Worker at Californias Largest Oil Refinery Tests Positive for Coronavirus Sources
(Reuters) – An employee at California’s largest oil refinery tested positive for the coronavirus and, along with a few other workers, went into self-quarantine on Wednesday, three sources familiar with the matter said.
Marathon Petroleum Corp’s Los Angeles Refinery, located in Carson, California, is the state’s largest producer of gasoline, with the ability to process 363,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) of crude oil into fuels.
The Carson plant is continuing regular operations, the people said. The refinery is believed to be the first in the United States to report a worker with the fast-spreading respiratory illness.
A Marathon spokesman did not reply to requests for comment.
The pandemic has infected nearly 1,900 people in the United States and 141,000 in more than 130 nations worldwide, killed more than 5,000 and shuttered schools, sports arenas and offices. California is one of the three hardest-hit U.S. states with about 250 reported coronavirus cases. The other two are Washington state, which accounts for most of the U.S. deaths, and New York.
The employee at the Los Angeles Refinery reported to the plant’s health office and went into quarantine. How the person may have contracted the virus was not known by the sources.
Marathon is the largest U.S. refiner, operating 16 refineries with a combined capacity to process 3 million bpd of crude oil, or 16% of national capacity.
Refineries can operate with reduced staffing, but cannot be operated remotely by employees working from home.
Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Bill Berkrot