Post-COVID-Oil refiners are making more money, but what about safety

As recently reported in the Houston Chronicle, from indoor dining to international flights, industries battered by the Covid pandemic are inching back toward normalcy, but perhaps none has turned a corner quite as clearly as the oil refining industry.

There are many examples of energy companies that have shown great improvement in production and profits post-Covid. As virus worried Americans halted most travel in 2020, curbing everything from cross-country road trips to the daily commute, many energy companies were forced to halt production in 2020.

Many companies are currently planning to resume fuel production and increase operations. This will result in more profitable earnings than in past years, thanks to the highest margins on gasoline for this time of year since 2013.

The Chronicle reports that behind the reversal of Fortune‘s is the sheer fact of supply and demand. On the demand side, driving across the US is back near pre-pandemic levels. Supplies, though, have remained largely limited.

As a result, refineries still operating are enjoying less competition, plus the strongest gasoline prices in more than seven years. The three independent US fuel-making companies reporting results so far this earnings season have all posted results that surpassed Wall Street analysts.

As a result of the cutbacks during the pandemic, operations were streamlined. This has improved the quality of their refining stock and as a result, they have benefited quite strongly from better global fundamentals. But what about safety?

Safety in chemical plants and refineries should always be number one. When a company focuses on operations more than safety, a disaster is likely right around the corner.

After almost 30 years of litigating chemical plant fire and explosion cases, I have seen the results of putting safety in second place. Workers are tragically injured and killed. Our law firm is always ready to work for our clients. Real trial lawyers. Real results.

Chemical plant cases that we are currently working/have leadership roles include:







Watson Grinding


Atmos Gas