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Shell Chemical East (26336), Norco

LDEQ Accident Report

Accident #150009
PDF AvailablePDF
State Police #13-03328
Accident Date2013-07-29
Report Date 2013-08-05
Follow-up Date 2013-08-27
Follow-up: Yes

Pollutants Released

Pollutant Duration Point Source Greenhouse Gas Criteria Pollutant Ozone forming chemical Amount of Release
Highly Reactive Volatile Organic Compounds14hNONOYES249.6 pounds
1,3-Butadiene14hNONOYESBRQ
Benzene14hNONOYESBRQ
Hydrogen Sulfide14hNONONOBRQ

Accident Classified As: Reportable Quantity

Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

On July 29, 2013, there was a release of 1,3 butadiene, benzene, and hydrogen sulfide due to a GO-1 process gas leak to the condensate system. While working with operations, personnel monitoring the fugitive emission components in the unit found the GO-1 caustic column feed pre-heater exchanger leaking process gas to the condensate system. Operations redirected the contaminated condensate to the flare system due to the condensate system flash drum venting to the atmosphere.

Discharge Preventable - No

The exchanger leak was unpredictable.

Notes/Remedial Actions

GO-1 operations took the necessary steps to minimize the release to the atmosphere. Operations personnel were able to complete a management of change to route the contaminated condensate to the flare. The leaking exchanger is scheduled for a metallurgy upgrade during the next GO-1 North turnaround. Upgrading the metallurgy should prevent any future leaks.