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Motiva Enterprises (2719), Convent

LDEQ Accident Report

Accident #111370
State Police #08-07828
Accident Date2008-12-11
Report Date 2008-12-15
Follow-up Date 2009-01-08
Follow-up: Yes

Pollutants Released

Pollutant Duration Point Source Greenhouse Gas Criteria Pollutant Ozone forming chemical Amount of Release
Nitrogen Oxide5 h 45 mTail Gas Treating Unit 3 (77H-101)NOYESYESBRQ
Carbon MonoxideTail Gas Treating Unit 3 (77H-101)NOYESNOBRQ
Hydrogen SulfideTail Gas Treating Unit 4 (78H-101)NONONO103.0 pounds
Sulfur DioxideTail Gas Treating Unit 4 (78H-101)NOYESNO2,895.0 pounds
Particulate MatterTail Gas Treating Unit 4 (78H-101)NOYESNOBRQ
Seal OilFlare No 3 (19G-301)NONONO791.0 pounds

Accident Classified As: Reportable Quantity

Cause of Problem: Process Upset

Upset of the ebulated-bed residuum hydrocracker (H-oil Unit) with a series of fluctuating alarms. While responding to the alarms, operators noticed a fire on the compressor turbine casing and immediately responded to extinguish the fire. The primary cause of this event was a H-Oil unit malfunctioning local level controller on the sour oil seal pot causing the drain valve to remain open and lose reference gas pressure across the seal oil pot.

Discharge Preventable - No

There was no indications of any issues with the level controller. Immediate and appropriate action was taken by affected process units to address the situation and reduce environmental and operational impacts.

Notes/Remedial Actions

FIRE. Operations began to reduce production by reducing charge rates on units and to troubleshoot H-Oil recycle compressor and fin fan malfunctions. Immediate action was taken to begin the process of stabilizing, slowing down and shutting down the H-Oil unit and other units as necessary. Affirmative defense letter. Motiva inspected and completed insrumentation checks on the level control for thesour oil seal pots the level control drain valve and the level gauge. A faulty high-level switch was found and replaced. COR will schedulean operation's monitoring cycle to ensure proper sour oil seal pots level. COR will also add a level control loop for the sour oil seal pots levels during the next maintenance outage.