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Shell Chemical East (26336), Norco

LDEQ Accident Report

Accident #152977
PDF AvailablePDF
State Police #13-05708
Accident Date2013-12-21
Report Date 2013-12-24
Follow-up Date 2014-02-18
Follow-up: Yes

Pollutants Released

Pollutant Duration Point Source Greenhouse Gas Criteria Pollutant Ozone forming chemical Amount of Release
Carbon Dioxide10h 8mOL-5 Ground (EPN 7-84) and Elevated (6-84) FlaresYESNONO2,078.4 pounds
Nitrogen Dioxide10h 8mOL-5 Ground flare (EPN 7-84)NOYESYES382.0 pounds
Particulate Matter10h 8mOL-5 Ground (EPN 7-84) and Elevated (6-84) FlaresNOYESNO151.7 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)10h 8mOL-5 Ground (EPN 7-84) and Elevated (6-84) FlaresNONOYES1,284.2 pounds

Accident Classified As: Below Reportable Quantity (BRQ)

Cause of Problem: Process Upset

On December 21, 2013, Shell Chemical's OL-5 operations discovered a pressure relief device opening to the OL-5 flare system.

Discharge Preventable - No

The elevated pressures within the propylene refrigeration compressor system were unexpected.

Notes/Remedial Actions

To close the pressure relief valve and stop the flow to the flare system, operations reduced the pressure of the propylene refrigeration compressor system, returning the unit to safely normal operating conditions. To minimize additional unit upset conditions and impacts, Operations drained exchangers, reducing the pressure of the propylene refrigeration compressor system caused by excess material in the system. In addition, Operations restored the propylene refrigeration systems to its normal operating conditions by reversing actions taken to stabilize the unit during the unit upset. An evaluation of the operating conditions of the propylene refrigeration compressor system will be performed to identify improvements which can be made to prevent future re-occurrences. If an corrective actions are identified, they will be reported in the 2013 2nd Half Semiannual Report.