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ExxonMobil Refinery (2638), Baton Rouge

LDEQ Accident Report

Accident #128902
State Police #11-00499
Accident Date2011-01-28
Report Date 2011-02-01
Follow-up Date 2011-02-04
Follow-up: Yes

Pollutants Released

Pollutant Duration Point Source Greenhouse Gas Criteria Pollutant Ozone forming chemical Amount of Release
Sulfur Dioxide14mFLARE: #4 UnitNOYESNO2,063.0 pounds
Nitrous Oxide14mFLARE: #4 UnitYESYESYES3.9 pounds
Nitrogen Dioxide14mFLARE: #4 UnitNOYESYES0.7 pounds
Hydrocarbon14mFLARE: #4 UnitNONOYES51.8 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide14mFLARE: #4 UnitNONONO0.3 pounds
Propylene14mFLARE: #4 UnitNONOYES5.0 pounds
Methane/Ethane Mixture14mFLARE: #4 UnitNONOYES1.0 pounds
Carbon Dioxide14mFLARE: #4 UnitYESNONO15.5 pounds
Methane14mFLARE: #4 UnitYESNOYES0.0 pounds

Accident Classified As: Reportable Quantity

Cause of Problem: Process Upset

As the #4 unit was starting up, it had a unit swing. To relieve the pressure, flaring took place. During the same 24 hours, the Powdered Catalyst Unit (PCLA) also underwent startup operations. Difficulties with compressor GLA-2X during startup resulted in additional flaring. As a result of this flaring, 1616 pounds of sulfur dioxide was released. Combined, these two sources release 1,716 pounds of sulfur dioxide. However, in a follow-up letter dated March 21, 2011, ExxonMobil stated that 2,063 lbs of sulfur dioxide were released.

Discharge Preventable - No

Follow up report states release was not preventable due to unplanned unit shutdown and unforeseen compressor start-up difficulties.

Notes/Remedial Actions

This release is RQ. To end the Light Ends Flaring, pressures on the 4 West Rerun and 4 West Splitter towers were reduced. To end the PCLA flaring, compressor GLA-2X was started. To prevent recurrence, procedures will be reviewed for the Light Ends area startups following unplanned downtimes. Additionally, startup procedures for the GLA-2X compressor will be reviewed.