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Shell Chemical East (26336), Norco

LDEQ Accident Report

Accident #143196
PDF AvailablePDF
State Police #12-06428
Accident Date2012-09-23
Report Date 2012-10-01
Follow-up Date 2012-11-13
Follow-up: Yes

Pollutants Released

Pollutant Duration Point Source Greenhouse Gas Criteria Pollutant Ozone forming chemical Amount of Release
Carbon Monoxide1d 3h 30mGO-1 Elevated Flare FE-602 (EPN 1-90)NOYESNO3,001.1 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide1d 3h 30mGO-1 Elevated Flare FE-602 (EPN 1-90)NOYESYES551.6 pounds
Particulate Matter1d 3h 30mGO-1 Elevated Flare FE-602 (EPN 1-90)NOYESNO103.8 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide1d 3h 30mGO-1 Elevated Flare FE-602 (EPN 1-90)NOYESNO15,061.3 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)1d 3h 30mGO-1 Elevated Flare FE-602 (EPN 1-90)NONOYES813.3 pounds
Hexane1d 3h 30mGO-1 Elevated Flare FE-602 (EPN 1-90)NONONO75.5 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide1d 3h 30mGO-1 Elevated Flare FE-602 (EPN 1-90)NONONO31.3 pounds

Accident Classified As: Reportable Quantity

Cause of Problem: Corrosion

On September 24, 2012 Shell Chemical's GO-1 flared at the GO-1 Elevated Flare. Untreated RCCU dry gas was flared while isolating PV-1013, the RCCU dry gas knock out pot, where piping located at the bottom of the vessel was leaking. Equipment isolation was performed to allow access to the leaking line. Further investigation showed that the leak was due to corrosion under the insulation. The flaring at the GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90) caused a release of hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide also leaked from the bottom of PV-1013, the RCCU dry gas knock out pot, and flaring occurred while isolating PV-1013

Discharge Preventable - No

This incident was not preventable by Shell Chemical. This leak was not preventable. There was no known issue with this line service.

Notes/Remedial Actions

Once access was provided, the line was blinded to stop the leak of untreated RCCU dry gas to the atmosphere. GO-1 operations personnel took the necessary steps to minimize flaring and eventually stop flaring, safely returning the unit to normal operating conditions. Once the unit was stabilized, untreated RCCU dry gas was routed into the fuel system and out of the flare. The leak was due to corrosion under insulation. The CUI inspection department will review service of the line and determine future inspection requirements for inspection cycle. The facility exceeded reportable quantities for sulfur dioxide (13908.15 lbs) and highly reactive volatile organic compounds (ethylene and propylene)[350 lbs]. They also exceeded permit limits for sulfur dioxide and hexane. SPOC report states material did go offsite.