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Shell Chemical East (26336), Norco

LDEQ Accident Report

Accident #152612
PDF AvailablePDF
State Police #13-05279
Accident Date2013-11-28
Report Date 2013-12-05
Follow-up Date 2014-01-23
Follow-up: Yes

Pollutants Released

Pollutant Duration Point Source Greenhouse Gas Criteria Pollutant Ozone forming chemical Amount of Release
Sulfur Dioxide26mOL-5 Elevated Flare (EPN 6-84) & Ground Flare (7-84)NOYESNO6.7 pounds
Carbon Monoxide26mOL-5 Elevated Flare (EPN 6-84) & Ground Flare (7-84NOYESNO1.6 pounds
Nitric Oxide26mOL-5 Elevated Flare (EPN 6-84) & Ground Flare (7-84NOYESNO0.3 pounds
Particulate Matter26mOL-5 Elevated Flare (EPN 6-84) & Ground Flare (7-84NOYESNO0.5 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)26mOL-5 Elevated Flare (EPN 6-84) & Ground Flare (7-84NONOYES0.1 pounds

Accident Classified As: Below Reportable Quantity (BRQ)

Cause of Problem: Instrument Failure

On November 28, 2013, OL-5 operations experienced a false high flow reading on a flow controller that resulted in high pressure in the diethanolamine stripper overhead. The high pressure caused a backup pressure controller to open the OL-5 Elevated Flare and OL-5 Ground Flare.

Discharge Preventable - No

Shell Chemical LP (the owner and operator of both OL-5 flares) has determined that the event was not preventable because the malfunction was sudden and unexpected.

Notes/Remedial Actions

Upon investigation, it was discovered that the false high flow was the result of the plugging of one of the two transmitter taps. OL-5 operations and maintenance personnel cleared a plug from the transmitter taps of the flow controller, and the flow reading returned to normal operating conditions. The OL-5 Process Unit was safely returned to normal operation conditions, and the flaring stopped. Follow up report states that "additional measures to prevent reoccurrence have not been identified".