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ExxonMobil Refinery (2638), Baton Rouge

Causal Factor: Maintenance/Procedures

LDEQ Accident Number
Accident Date
Point Source(s) Notes Amount of Release
No LDEQ Reported

West Gas Scrubber
Cause: the permit requirements were changed so they had to implement new changes in order to meet the requirements

Followup: No

Notes: Since this regulation is new and controller experience with these situations is limited, learnings from this event will be shared with all controllers. The new Wet Gas Scrubber Permit requires the CO furnaces to operate at lower excess oxygen concentrations for nitrogen dioxide emissions, thus making the unit more susceptible to carbon monoxide excursions. Additionally, more experience is needed to control the new permit and regulatory limit
Carbon Monoxide: 855.0 pounds

Cause: Flaring occurred when a compressor depressurized for maintenance.

Followup: No

Notes: Amount of sulfur dioxide released is unknown.



Cause: They are doing a planned power outage at the Methylethylketone (MEK) Unit and sending natural gas to the #5 flare.

Followup: No

Notes: There was potential to have pilot outages. They added natural gas to keep the pilots lit because the ignitors are electric.
potential exceedance


no information given
Cause: A reactor is being brought back on line.

Followup: No

Notes: They are pre-treating the reactor. As a result of this, they have high hydrogen sulfide in their fuel gas which results in high sulfur dioxide in the furnace gas flue. The three hour average of hydrogen sulfide is more than 160 ppm.


Cause: Flange failure occurred during a hydrocarbon freeing procedure prior to performing maintenance on the unit. The flange failed after steam injection had been initiated, per procedure. Crude oil released exceeded RQs.

Followup: No

Notes: RQ exceeded. Vacuum trucks recovered material. Flange will be repaired.
Oil: 117.6 pounds
No LDEQ Reported

No Information Given
Cause: Sample taken showed potential for hydrocarbon leak.

Followup: No

Notes: Company letter missing. Verbal report. RQ not exceeded.


No Information Given
Cause: According to the SPOC verbal report, a release occurred at ground level due to equipment cleaning.

Followup: No

Notes: This release is BRQ.


Cause: An unknown quantity of sulfur dioxide release due to flaring to correct levels within a steel drum. Liquid contains hydrogen sulfide and when combusted sulfur dioxide was released.

Followup: No

Notes: This release is below reportable quantity.


Mixed Gas Oil tankage
Cause: The incident took place at the Mixed Gas Oil tankage. The flow valves that supply methane to the tanks fully opened when the computer control system was upgrading. The methane exceeded the tanks' vapor recovery unit, therefore their atmospheric vents opened releasing the gas.

Followup: No

Notes: The computer system was returned to service, and the valve was shut. The Methane flow valve will now be manually closed when computer system is shutdown. Exxon exceeded the reportable quantity threshold for flammable vapors when combined with a second release that occurred within 24 hours.The second release had the LDEQ number 127174. Combined 1,563 pounds for both incidents. Although the 2 individual incidents are BRQ, the combined sum of 1,563 pounds is RQ.
Methane: 861.0 pounds

No Information Given
Cause: Fire training was held at the fire training grounds, and the chemicals involved was Diesel and compressed Natural gas. Smoke was released into the air.

Followup: No

Notes: No Information was given for remedial actions. Planned procedure for fire training. Training occurred on two separate days, the 2nd and the 3rd.


Cause: The Alky Unit was shut down, and while preparing equipment, isobutane released to flare system.

Followup: No

Notes: Release was Below Reportable Quantities [BRQ].


exchanger E101
Cause: There was a small exchanger fire during a unit shutdown which resulted in a hydrogen leak from exchanger E101.

Followup: No

Notes: Team sent in to secure leak. No information provided about how much material was released or if it was BRQ. LABB only has access to the LDEQ report and not the refinery letter.


Intermediate Crack Naptha Unit; Mixed Gas Oil tank vent
Cause: Equipment on the intermediate Cat Naphtha unit (ICN) was taken out for maintenance and material was sent to Mixed Gas Oil (MCG) tank. The vapor recovery system could not handle the pressure and vents opened releasing RQ of flammable vapors (9,193 lb). This event is still under investigation.

Followup: No

Notes: This release is RQ. The ICN was returned to service and stopped the release. The root cause will be determined and appropriate follow up action will be implemented. LDEQ report states that they will address this report at the next scheduled inspection of the refinery.
Flammable Vapor: 9,193.0 pounds

Cause: Planned and controlled release for maintenance.

Followup: No

Notes: Below reportable quantities. No specification of what chemicals were released.


Flare at the tower compressor pump
Cause: ExxonMobil was trying to bring the rates up on a unit. The tower pressure exceeded what the compressor could pump. This resulted in flaring of SO2.

Followup: No

Notes: Another compressor was attached until the pressure went back down.
Sulfur Dioxide: 25.0 pounds

Retired tank
Cause: An empty tank was being moved/demolished and residue from previous contents caused smoldering. The previous contents of the tank are unknown.

Followup: No

Notes: Smoldering stopped and air monitoring was conducted to confirm there was no offsite impact.


Tube Valve On Exchanger
Cause: LDEQ states that an unknown quantity of oil was released when an operator was doing a pressure survey. A one half inch tube valve on an exchanger failed, resulting in the spill. Approximately 208 pounds of vapor were released.

Followup: No

Notes: This release was BRQ. The oil was cleaned.
Vapor: 208.0 pounds


No Information Given
Cause: LDEQ states that during planned maintenance activity when checking for leaks in the equipment, smoke will be emitted into the air for a few hours.

Followup: No

Notes: BRQ. No Information Given. LABB only has access to the LDEQ incident report.


Underground Pipe
Cause: LDEQ states that an underground pipe was being excavated for inspection, and powerformer feed, which contains benzene and naphtha were released. Incident location was identified in SPOC report as corner of V and 3rd streets between units.

Followup: No

Notes: BRQ. A hole was dug, and the chemicals were vacuumed out. Soil was also cleaned up. Refinery letter states that "due to prompt incident response no reportable quantities were exceeded."
Naphtha: 8.0 gallons


Cause: On October 7, 2013, the GLA-3X compressor at the PCLA unit experienced an unplanned shut down, causing material to be released to the site's flare gas system. The shutdown was caused by a loss of communication with the remote programmable logic controller during replacement of the human-machine interface panel. Unit feed rate was safely and quickly decreased to minimize flaring and emissions to the atmosphere. The compressor was re-started shortly thereafter with no operational issues. The reportable quantity for sulfur dioxide was exceeded as a result of this event.

Followup: No

Notes: Immediately upon the compressor shutdown, unit feed rate was safely and quickly decreased to minimize flaring and emissions to the atmosphere. Survey existing installation to identify other compressors with similar configurations and replace during next scheduled T/A. Develop training package for Operations and Maintenance teams on how to service human-machine interfaces.
Sulfur Dioxide: 2,656.0 pounds

No Information Given
Cause: ExxonMobil Refinery was doing testing and overpressured the system. The overpressure triggered a safety device to open resulting in a release of sulfur dioxide and benzene.

Followup: No

Notes: No information given.
Sulfur Dioxide: 12.0 pounds
Benzene: 0.0 pounds

Cause: On January 2, 2014 during startup operations of the HCLA unit at the Baton Rouge Refinery, a secondary hydrogen compressor was started to increase the amount of reserve quench available prior to introducing oil into the second reactor. After the secondary compressor was put into service, the unit operating pressure increased significantly and exceeded the specifications of the unit pressure control valves as a result of excess gas from the secondary compressor. The compressor was immediately shut down, decreasing the overall unit pressure.

Followup: No

Notes: Immediately upon the unit pressure increase, the secondary hydrogen compressor was shutdown. To prevent recurrence, the operating procedure has been modified to include details regarding a secondary hydrogen compressor operation.
Flammable Vapor: 4,239.0 pounds