”Executing this major project safely, so that all workers go home safely at the end of each day is our top priority, general manager Tifanie Steele says of the Light Tight Oil (LTO) Project.  This commitment is integral to the Chevron Way culture and values of protecting people and the environment.”

The LTO project will increase crude oil processing capacity sourced from shale in the Permian.  This expansion will benefit Chevron’s Gulf Coast refining system, help supply a portion of the Texas and Louisiana retail market, and add jet fuel to the facility’s portfolio. Additionally, the project enhances safety by decommissioning certain units and reducing overall emissions. Construction is nearing completion and has surpassed 3 million safe work hours.


Changing our name to Chevron’s approach to involve contractors in front-end engineering exemplifies a strategic shift towards collaborative planning and execution.  By leveraging the specialized expertise of contractors from the ground up and having them onboard during the crucial early planning phase, ensures that every aspect of the project, from crane placement to material staging, benefits from the contractors’ insights.  This process allows for a thorough review of the construction sequence, optimizes material ordering and staging, and most importantly, it enhances safety measures.


Changing our name to Culture shapes behavior. It influences how we perceive risks, how we communicate, and how we make decisions. When safety becomes ingrained in the fabric of an organization, it transcends mere compliance. It becomes a shared value, a collective commitment. That’s the culture we strive for—one where safety is everyone’s responsibility.


The integration of contractors during the early stages of a project can be a game-changer.  It’s not just the construction manager who holds the safety torch. From the pipe fitters’ helpers to the electricians, every contractor must feel empowered. If something doesn’t seem right, they have the authority to stop work. This isn’t just lip service; it’s a fundamental shift in mindset.

    • Weekly Safety Meetings: Every Monday around 800 LTO contractors meet in a large lunch tent to discuss OE (Operational Excellence). OE is a management system that embodies Chevron’s commitment to safety and environmental protection. The guiding principles for daily decisions are simple: ‘Do it safely or not at all’ and ‘There is always time to do it right.’”
    • Integration: The integration between the LTO workforce and the refinery base business workforce is crucial for project success. These two groups must collaborate effectively despite their distinct roles.
    • Communication and Awareness: To ensure a cohesive safety message, efforts are made to keep all workgroups informed about each other’s activities. Concurrent or simultaneous work is carefully managed to prevent any adverse impact.
    • Base Business Contractors: Base business contractors attend the all-hands safety meetings on Mondays, ensuring consistent communication across both groups.
    • OE Champions Group: Field representatives from the contractors participate in the OE champions group, further promoting safety awareness and alignment.


OE Champions: A Catalyst for Change

OE champions is an innovative program.  Here’s why:

    1. What Are OE Champions?
    2. OE champions are advocates for excellence. They’re not safety officers; they’re change agents. They embed safety practices into the project’s DNA and are a link between workers and leadership. With care and concern, they lead by example, mentor, and drive continuous improvement.
    3. LTO’s Pioneering Role Our project, LTO, stands at the forefront. We’re among the first to embrace OE champions. Their presence is felt across the site—on the scaffolding, in the control rooms, and during toolbox talks. They embody our safety culture.
    4.  The Ripple Effect As OE champions spread their knowledge, they create a ripple effect. Contractors learn from them, adopt best practices, and become safety advocates themselves. It’s a virtuous cycle—one that elevates safety beyond compliance.



Our efforts have paid off. We’ve witnessed remarkable instances of contractors using their stop work authority effectively. A safety culture isn’t built overnight; it’s a continuous effort. By empowering contractors, fostering a safe space, and championing OE, we’ve transformed safety from a mere requirement to a shared purpose. Our project thrives because safety isn’t just a priority; it’s our culture.


Contact HASC at 281.476.9900 ext. 308 or for more information.