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ExxonMobil Refinery (2638), Baton Rouge

Releases of Hexane

LDEQ Accident Number
Accident Date
Point Source(s) Notes Amount of Release

tank 766
Cause: level gauge on tank 766 was not responding correctly. Chemicals began flowing out of the drain on the tank.

Followup: Yes

Notes: foam was sprayed on the tank to reduce exposure and fire potential. The tank was slowly emptied to ensure the roof did not shift and damage the tank.
553.0 pounds

E-552A and E-553A Exchangers on the Coker
Cause: the E-552A and E-553 Exchangers on the Coker were discovered leaking into Cooling Tower #44. The leak on the E-553A was stopped 20 mins. Later while the leak on the E-552A continued until August 26th, 2006. The leaks are believed to have been caused by accelerated corrosion

Followup: No

Notes: This incident was not preventable because inspection reports on these exchanger bundles indicate that both failed prematurely. Remedial Measures - The existing tube bundles will be repaired/replaced as necessary. Metallurgy of these exchangers will be upgraded. Reportable quantities for volatile organic compounds, hydrogen sulfide, and benzene were exceeded. Note: in the follow up report, it was found that the reportable quantities for hexane, 1,3 Butadiene, and highly reactive volatile organicpounds were exceeded as well. The previously reported level of volatile organic compounds was 8800 and was later found to be 66388, for hydrogen sulfide it was 901/4578, and for benzene it was 59/43
2,054.0 pounds

E-553B Exchanger at the coker
E-553B Exchanger leak at the coker
Cause: -the E-553B exchanger on the Coker was leaking to Cooling Tower #44. The leak is believed to be from the corrosion on the tube bundle.

Followup: No

Notes: Remedial measures - The leaking tube on the E-553 exchanger will be plugged and the exchanger will be pressure tested before it is returned to service. The accident was not preventable because the exchanger had not leaked previously and the tube bundle was approximately 18 months old. The report letter to LDEQ states that the reportable quantities for benzene, hydrogen sulfide, volatile organic compounds, and 1,3-butadine were exceeded.
832.0 pounds

F-600 furnace at No. 2 Reformer / Powerformer Feed Hydrotreater (RHLA-2) / No. 2 Powerformer
Cause: an instrument malfunction caused the F-600 furnace on the No. 2 Reformer to shut down. The shutdown of F-600 resulted in the Powerformer Feed Hydrotreater (RHLA-2) and the No. 2 Powerformer shutting down. The Powerformer is a major supplier of hydrogen to the refinery, and with the reduction in hydrogen supply, several units were forced to significantly reduce rates or shut down. The Feed Preparation Unit feeds RHLA-2 and with this unit shut down a valve was opened to send this stream from Feed Preparation to tankage. There is a second valve in this line that is normally open, but during this time it was closed. The second valve being closed led to a pressure increase in T-31 and caused the safety valve to release. The towe pressure was returne

Followup: No

Notes: Remeidal Measures - An investigation is ongoing and appropriate follow-up actions will be completed. Exxon states in their report that the accident was preventable. Their explanation is that the safety valve did not restart as it should have, nor did the operator know the second valve was closed. Could this be human error in addition to Instrument failur
1,005.0 pounds

FLARE-Flare #5,7,17,19
Cause: OTHER-Electrical failure of Coker units

Followup: No

Notes: Personnel initiated startup of idle compressor recovering most of coker gas. Alternate electrical coordination settings and power supply designs are being evaluated for this system.
20.0 pounds


Cause: A heat exchanger was leaking into cooling water. The leak is suspected to be release a volume of gases that exceed the RQ.

Followup: No

Notes: The plan was to isolate the exchanger and stop the leak.
5,000.0 pounds

No Information Given
Cause: Leak occurred, but no information provided regarding the cause.

Followup: No

Notes: RQ not exceeded. LABB does not have access to the LDEQ incident report.

PHLA unit T-2 tower
Cause: Normal operating overhead pressure was exceeded on the PHLA unit T-2 tower due to a pressure controller valve malfunction.

Followup: No

Notes: The bypass valve was opened to reduce tower pressure, the safety valve was reset, and the unit was returned to normal operating conditions. The pressure controller instrument was replaced immediately following the event. Only the reportable quantity for flammable vapor was exceeded.
8.9 pounds