|About the Database
|LDEQ Accident Number
|Amount of Release
|Process Unit: Catalytic Reformer Unit
|Cause: line leak developed due to internal corrosion
Notes: Motiva Pressure Equipment Integrity Group has been tasked with evaluating this line and making recommendations that will reduce the likelihood of a recurrence.
|Cause: On August 19, 2013, a fire was experienced on pump 4G-559 due to a seal failure. HTU-1's recycle compressor tripped on high K.O. drum level. A decision was made to slowdown, stabilize, and shutdown. Part of the activities to slowdown included putting the CRU unit on hydrogen circulation; therefore, operations shutdown the CRU charge pumps, 4G-501/559. Shortly after the pumps were stopped, 4G-559 failed, and a seal fire occurred.
After thorough investigation, the cause of the seal fire was determined to be the failure of a check valve on the discharge of 4G-559. When the charge pumps were stopped, the downstream hydrogen pushed the naptha in the line backwards through the discharge line. the check valve in the discharge line did not operate as designed and the naptha and hydrogen entered 4G-559 causing it to spin in reverse. This caused friction, heat, and vibration significant enough for the pump to seize. Under these conditions, a seal fire is expected.
Notes: The units were brought down in order to stabilize the situation. The materials involved in the fire were largely combusted, as were the materials routed to the flare; they were then dispersed naturally into the air. All residual unburned materials from the pump seal fire were captured by the unit secondary containment system and recycled back into the refinery's recovered oil system. A second check valve has been installed on the discharge line to provide an additional factor of safety against the potential failure of a single check valve.