|Home||Search||Pollutants||About the Database|
|LDEQ Incident Number
|Point Source(s)||Notes||Amount of Release|
|Coker, HCU, West Op Ground flares||Cause: power failures due to weather (Tropical Storm Cindy) caused various releases from Motiva sources; led to total loss of electrical instrument air compressors and the loss of several steam Boilers that caused the shutdown of the HCU and RCCU process units. A voltage sag caused the Coker processor to shut down which resulted in a flaring event|
Notes: Motiva claims that this was not preventable because of the unforeseeable weather conditions.
|West Ops Ground Flare (EPN# 9-84)||Cause: upset at GO-1 process unit|
Notes: Letter states that no RQ's were exceeded. Little info given re: cause, preventability.
|HCU flare EPN 4-84||Cause: There was an instrument failure on the Hydro-cracker Unit (HCU) recycle gas compressor (K-1928). Because of this instrument failure excess flaring from the HCU flare (EPN 4-84) allowed release of the following gases: propylene, VOC's , and Nitrogen Oxides.
Note: there were two follow up reports provided. The first followup report on 10-29-2009 was written to respond to a verbal notification. This report stated that ongoing sampling would be conducted. The second report on 11-19-2009 was written to report findings from sampling conducted at the incident site|
Notes: after the flaring incident was noticed the HCU recycle gas compressor was shutdown and repairs were done to fix the speed controller .
|Cat Cracker debutanizer column||Cause: States that there was a problem with the Cat Cracker Debutanizer column. Propylene, butylene, Benzene, SO2, and H2S were released...there was no cause listed as to how these chemicals were released|
Notes: There were no remedial actions listed as to how the problem was corrected with the Cat Cracker and no mention as to how the release of these chemicals were stopped. Verbal report only, no letter from the refinery.
|FLARE: HCU relief valve(RV-1191); flow control valve (FC-0735); HCU Flare (4-84)||Cause: LDEQ report states that a release of propylene and propane due to an upset in the hydrocracker unit. The facility reported that a relief valve relieved to flare for approximately one minute.|
Notes: BRQ. HCU relief valve was repaired and put back in service. No reportable quantities were exceeded as a result of this release.
|FLARE: RCCU Flare||Cause: Refinery letter states that "the main air blower for Motiva's RCCU unit tripped unexpectedly which..resulted in an emergency shut down of the RCCU and RGHT units." Upon start up of RCCU, it is suspected the RCCU flare pilot was unlit causing release to air of Ethylene, Propylene, 1,3=Butadiene, VOC, Flammable Gas, HRVOC. HEAVY FLARING ALSO OCCURRED AT SHELL CHEMICAL LP but will be included in a separate report (GO-1 flare).
Follow-up report states that "Motiva WAS NOT ABLE TO DETERMINE THE ULTIMATE CAUSE of the loss of the pilot flame, but that gas pressure being set above the design pressure or severe weather conditions may have contributed to the loss of pilot flame. FLARE.|
Notes: RQ. Reportable quantities were exceeded during this incident. "All released materials were dispersed naturally in the atmosphere from the RCCU flare stack." Release was stopped by the re-lighting of the flare. Also flare pilot flame-out alarm was placed back into service and refresher training provided to all operations personnel on the importance of maintaining flare pilot flames. LDEQ report states that according to "LDEQ Enforcement Division, this incident is being included in an Enforcement Action being drafted by the LDEQ Enforcement Division."
|FLARE - HCU Elevated Flare [EPN4-84], Relief Valve [RV1178 & RV1204]||Cause: Loss of electrical breaker powering most of the large motors in the hydrocracking unit caused two columns to "release to atmosphere;" RV-1178 on the Rectified Absorber Column for 30secs, RV-1204 on the Caustic Water Wash column "momentarily." FLARE.|
Notes: BRQ. Refinery Follow-up Letter states "final calculations confirm that no reportable quantities were exceeded as a result of this release." Breaker loss discovered & repaired, operations returned to normal.
|GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90)||Cause: On 12/22/11, Shell's GO-1 Process Unit experienced a unit upset. This process upset led to flaring at the Motiva's West Operations Ground Flare (EPN 9-84). Shell Chemical operations identified the cause of the unit upset was from problems with the hydrogen purity from the Process Swing Absorption unit (PSA). Shell Chemical operations switched to refinery hydrogen and the unit was stabilized. The cause of the issues in the PSA unit is believed to be several valves that were not functioning correctly. Separate reporting is being included for Shell's chemical plant.|
Notes: Repairs to these valves were made and the system was safely returned to normal conditions. Report says that flaring also occurred at Motiva's Ground Flare (EPN 9-84) but there is not mention of what was released from that flare. Also report says that this duration of flare smoking of from the GO-1 Elevated Flare lasted for zero seconds.
|Coker Flare FE-401||Cause: While starting the Coker Jet Pump on 9/29/11 at 6:45pm, the electrical breaker at Motiva's Coking Unit tripped de-energizing the Motor Control Center. Consequently, the Coker Wet Gas Compressor tripped offline therefore resulting in unit flaring and operating in hot circulation mode. Hot circulation mode is an operating mode in which the unit recycles feed at high temperatures. This mode of operation lessens the amount of flaring in comparison to a complete unit shutdown. The initial inspection of the Jet Pump revealed that the auto-transformer serving as a soft start for this pump had failed causing the electrical breaker to trip open. Once repairs were completed, the Coker Unit was safely re-started and flaring stopped.|
Notes: Immediately, Operations placed the furnace F-125 in hot steam standby and brought the Coker Unit into hot circulation mode to prevent additional flaring of non treated gas. Norco maintenance personnel were called out to troubleshoot the trip of the Coker Wet Gas Compressor and related equipment. The auto-transformer was removed from the circuit. Relay coordination was modified in order to protect the new circuit. After troubleshooting, maintenance personnel determined that operations could safely re-start the Coker Process Unit. During this time the Coker Wet Gas Compressor was restarted and flaring stopped. By 12/31/11 a study will be completed to determine whether the auto-transformer can be permanently removed from the system. After this study is completed, a strategy will be created to address the required changes. This action will be completed by 3/31/12. Calculations confirm that the reportable quantity for sulfur dioxide was exceeded as well as the permitted maximum pound per hour emission limits for carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, VOC's, 1,3 butadiene, and benzene as a result of the release.
|Shell Chemical LP Utilities East Flare (EPN 3-84)||Cause: Motiva Norco experienced a malfunction and shutdown of the RCCU refrigerant chiller compressor (K-7200) resulting in a flare at the Shell Chemical LP Utilities East Flare (EPN 3-84) releasing nitrogen oxide and propylene.|
Notes: LDEQ provided, but there was no Refinery Report included in the file. Motiva states that "final calculations confirmed no reportable quantities or permit limits were exceeded as a result of the incident".
|Flare: EPN 3-84||Cause: A leak occurred at HIC-84, along the downstream block valves, allowing nitrogen to enter the column causing a rapid pressure increase. The distilling unit upper crude column became overpressured, and PCV-195 opened the flare to relieve pressure in the column. EPN 3-84 Flare at Shell was used because the Motiva flare was upset and the pilot light was out. Original upset occurred at Motiva DU-5 Crude Unit with a notrogen leak into the Upper Crude Column.|
Notes: The Shell report for the motiva release was dated May 5th, 2010 instead of 2011.
|Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit's elevated flare||Cause: The refinery's RCCU CO Heater was struck by lighting during a heavy rainstorm event, causing the CO Heater to shut down. Consequently, an Instrument Protective Function associated with the CO Heater's FD fans automatically tripped the system's main fuel gas burners to safely secure the heater, as per design. This incident also caused flaring at the Shell Chemical OL-5 Elevated Flare.|
Notes: Operations worked to stabilize the RCCU process unit and assess the damages to the RCCU CO Heater resulting from the lightning strike.