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Valero (1238), Meraux

LDEQ Accident Report

Accident #98724
State Police #07-04797
Accident Date2007-08-16
Report Date 2007-08-23
Follow-up Date 0000-00-00
Follow-up: No Information Provided

Pollutants Released

Pollutant Duration Point Source Greenhouse Gas Criteria Pollutant Ozone forming chemical Amount of Release
Sulfur Dioxide30mDHT Sour Gas Compressor/ DHT Overhead ReceinverNOYESNO261.0 pounds

Accident Classified As:

Cause of Problem: Instrument Failure

the incident was triggered by a faulty level reading in the DHT Overhead Receiver (reading 30% less than actual). The compressor shut down when the knockout pot downstream of the DHT Overhead Receiver alarmed on high liquid level. The level gauge apparently failed due to scale (rust) plugging the instrument.

Discharge Preventable - Yes

Notes/Remedial Actions

The incident is listed as preventable even though the only information included in that section is that MOUSA did not anticipate the accumulation of scale during the extended shutdown of the vessel. Remedial Measures - the DHT unit had been shut down for 110 days. MOUSA is working on plans to prevent scale formation by securing the Overhead Receiver under an inert atmosphere in any future extended shutdowns. Note: the flare resulted from an automatic safety shutdown of the DHT Sour Gas Compre - but nonetheless, the incident was triggered by a faulty level reading in the DHT Overhead Receiver - the level gauge having failed due to scale (rust) plugging the instrument.