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Shell Chemical East (26336), Norco

LDEQ Accident Report

Accident #155954
PDF AvailablePDF
State Police #14-02102
Accident Date2014-05-09
Report Date 2014-05-14
Follow-up Date 2014-07-02
Follow-up: Yes

Pollutants Released

Pollutant Duration Point Source Greenhouse Gas Criteria Pollutant Ozone forming chemical Amount of Release
Carbon Monoxide14mBD5 Unit post fractionatorNOYESNO72.0 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide14mBD5 Unit post fractionatorNOYESYES13.0 pounds
Particulate Matter14mBD5 Unit post fractionatorNOYESNO2.0 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)14mBD5 Unit post fractionatorNONOYES48.0 pounds
1,3-Butadiene14mBD5 Unit post fractionatorNONOYES48.0 pounds

Accident Classified As: Reportable Quantity

Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

On 5/9/2014, Shell Chemical's BD5 Unit flared process gas at the OL5 Ground Flare (FG-101). The pressure of the post fractionator unexpectedly increased resulting in a unit upset requiring BD5 to flare 1,3 butadiene product to safely stabilize the unit. It was determined that the pressure increase on the post was the result of a malfunctioned pressure transmitter.

Discharge Preventable - No

The incident was not preventable as the malfunction of the pressure transmitter was unexpected.

Notes/Remedial Actions

Immediately, to minimize additional unit upset conditions and impacts, various process parameters were monitored and it was determined that the pressure increase on the post was the result of a malfunctioned pressure transmitter. The transmitter was monitored until repairs could be completed. To prevent the reoccurrence of this incident, maintenance evaluated the pressure transmitter and found that there was moisture inside the wiring terminal portion of the transmitter and the transmitter had loose wiring. The moisture was removed, wiring was tightened and it was verified that the transmitter cover was sealed to prevent reentry of moisture.