|Home||Search||Emissions||Pollutants||About the Database|
|LDEQ Accident Number
|Point Source(s)||Notes||Amount of Release|
|Coker Unit||Cause: Incident was due to a level controller malfunction.|
Notes: A level controller malfunctioned, allowing the liquid to go into a blowdown system which vents into the atmosphere. About 15 barrels of crude was released and contained. Unknown quantities of Xylene and Hydrogen Sulfide were released.
|GO-1 Elevated Flare||Cause: Flaring due to a process upset associated with the GO-1 Diethanolamine (DEA) treater tower.|
Notes: Remedial actions: untreated dry gas sent to the refinery fuel gas system and flared; it is not yet known whether this was preventable because the cause is unknown.
|Coker, HCU, West Op Ground flares||Cause: Power failures due to weather (Tropical Storm Cindy) caused various releases from Motiva sources; led to total loss of electrical instrument air compressors and the loss of several steam boilers that caused the shutdown of the HCU and RCCU process units. A voltage sag caused the Coker processor to shut down which resulted in a flaring event.|
Notes: Motiva claims that this was not preventable because of the unforeseeable weather conditions.
|hydrocracker unit, HCU Flare (EPN #4-84)||Cause: A gasket on compressor K 1929's seal oil pot gauge glass was leaking, causing a loss of seal Oil level. Loss of level caused hydrocracker unit to trip out and require a shut down.|
Notes: Remedial actions: Site supervisor was notified, unit was secured per procedures for shutdown. Gauge glass was inspected and it was found that the Jerguson valves did not contain ball checks; the ball checks were replaced.
|Hydrocracker unit||Cause: Flame and pilots failed on the hydrocracker flare during unit decontamination.|
Notes: The flare was relit and the unit was returned to normal operation.
|Cause: Verbal notification on 11/25/06 states flaring was due to starting Motiva Norco unit up from a turn around.|
Notes: Verbal notification on 11/25/06 states that intermittent flaring occurred from both coker FE-401 and Utilities East flare FE-501, both of which are elevated flares.
|HCU ATM RV-1177|
HCU Flare (EPN 4-84)
|Cause: The 13.8 breaker providing power to MCC #1,2,3 in the HUC switchgear opened, resulting in a complete unit shutdown.|
Notes: Once the unit was completely shutdown, the problem was identified, the breaker was put in the correct position, and unit restarted. Concerning remedial actions, Motiva plans to include key points of policy addressing switchgear access/hazard in Safety Ba'You meetings and to verify/include switchgear access/hazards in contractor site orientation. Point sources for released VOC's and Hexane are the HCU Flare (EPN 4-84) and the HCU ATM RV-1177.
|DU-5 Unit||Cause: An atmospheric leak of light naphtha gasoline material was identified in Motiva's Distilling unit due to a piping failure on the crude column overhead line. Initially, operations personnel identified the line dripping in two locations, and vaporizing before reaching grade.|
Notes: Operations developed a plan to safely remove insulation so that the leak could be stopped. Operations installed barricade tape around affected area and monitored the leak for benzene. A catch tray was fabricated and mounted directly to the crude overhead piping to contain atmospheric emissions while the associated insulation was removed from the crude overhead line. Once the insulation was removed, a pipe clamp was installed to permanently stoped the leak. The overhead piping will be replaced during the next unit turnaround in October 2006.
|HCU flare||Cause: Control valve 755 malfunctioned, sending hydrogen sulfide gas to flare.|
Notes: Operations closed instrument air supply line, causing valve to go into fail-safe open position. Faulty instrument air filter was repaired and re-established instrument airflow to valve. To prevent recurrence, instrument air supply filter and parts of controller were replaced.
|Utilities East Flare EPN 3-84||Cause: Release was due to an unexpected leak on the DU-5 Waste Gas Compressor K-1876.|
Notes: No information given regarding remedial actions.
|Hydrocracker Unit||Cause: Release of benzene, hydrogen sulfide, hexane, and VOC's due to a relief valve release to the atmospheric vent.|
Notes: No information given regarding remedial actions.
|Hydrocracker Unit Rectifier Absorber Column (PV-822)||Cause: A pressure swing at the HCU caused relief valve on the HCU Rectifier Absorber column (PV-822) to open to atmosphere. HCU was in process of being started post-turnaround.|
Notes: Motiva has modified a low level alarm on the HCU High Pressure Separator to mitigate the pressure swings on the Rectifier Absorber Column.
|compressor||Cause: The chemicals Benzene, H2S, Volatile organic compounds and Nitrogen Oxides were released after two compressors tripped due to an electrical breaker trip. no information given on amounts.|
Notes: No remedial action was provided as to how the electrical breaker was fixed and release of chemicals were stopped. Verbal report only, no written report from the refinery.
|Cat Cracker debutanizer column||Cause: States that there was a problem with the Cat Cracker Debutanizer column. Propylene, butylene, Benzene, SO2, and H2S were released...there was no cause listed as to how these chemicals were released|
Notes: There were no remedial actions listed as to how the problem was corrected with the Cat Cracker and no mention as to how the release of these chemicals were stopped. Verbal report only, no letter from the refinery.
|FLARE: DU-5 Unit, waste gas compressor (k1883); East UE Flare (EPN 3-84)||Cause: incident involved a "process upset at Motiva's DU-5 Unit."release of hydrogen sulfide, Nitrogen Oxide, and Sulfur Dioxide. A waste gas compressor (K1883) tripped releasing the previously stated gases to flare. Shared flaring incident with SHELL CHEMICAL LP.|
Notes: BRQ. Feed was reduced on DU-5 unit, instrument technician called in. False level reading that cased waste gas compressor to trip was determined to be caused by sediment build-up; sediment sampled to identify composition and cause.
|FLARE: DU-5 Unit Waste gas compessor (K-1883); Shell East Flare||Cause: Air release. Process upset on vacuum flasher [DU-5 Unit] caused waste gas compressor K-1883 to trip offline. LDEQ report states that cause of release is unknown at this time. Shared flaring incident with SHELL CHEMICAL LP.|
Notes: BRQ. Reduced feed and troubleshooted issues related to loss of vacuum. Air monitoring was conducted and "all parameters were non-detectable."
|FLARE - HCU elevated flare||Cause: FLARE. FIRE. Power failure caused rapid shutdown of Hydrocracking Unit due to a valve failure. Moisture had accumulated causing corrosion on the wiring and connections. During troubleshooting, hydroprocessing exchanger E-1057 bottom head caught fire. Fire extinguished with water, no injuries.|
Notes: BRQ. No RQs exceeded but did exceed max lb per hour permit limit for SO2. Process unit restarted and conditions returned to normal. Wiring, connector block, and seal repaired to prevent moisture from causing further corrosion.
|HCU absorber surge drum PV-829|
HCU oil absorber surge drum PV-829
|Cause: Operator on rounds discovered stain on nozzle bottle of vessel of hydrocracking unit. Plug missing, visible vapors, and there is a quarter inch hole leaking.|
Notes: BRQ. Refinery letter states that "final calculations confirm that no reportable quantities were exceeded." Steam lanced the leak initially, then got advice from piping inspectors for leak repair. Repaired with nipple and isolation valve with cap.
|DEA overhead stripper column flange at sulfur plant S-3||Cause: On 11/22/11 at 3:30 pm, maintenance personnel were in the process of replacing carbon steel bolts with stainless steel on E-6402. After changing seven of the eight bolts on the flange, a leak developed from the flange. The material released was sour water containing sulfur dioxide, and appeared to be coming from a failed gasket. Leak was on the inlet fans of the DEA stripper at sulfur plant S-3|
Notes: The maintenance personnel immediately stopped work due to the safety hazard presented by the leak . A plan was developed to safely complete the repair, which was carried out the following day on 11/23/11. Final calculations confirm that no reportable quantities were exceeded during this event.
|inlet to DEA overhead fan E-6402 in sulfur plant S-3||Cause: On 11/15/11 at 2:00 am while performing unit sensory rounds in Sulfur Plant S-3, a Motiva operator discovered a small leak along a flange at the inlet to DEA overhead fan E-6402. The material released was sour water contained hydrogen sulfide and could be observed "bubbling" along the top of the gasket and dripping down the piping. The operator immediately notified his supervision and the Site Supervisor was contacted. An Emergency Work Order was created and Pressure Equipment Inspectors and pipefitters were dispatched to determine the condition of the equipment and to conduct repairs. The bolts were tightened on the flange and the leak stopped. Operations personnel continued to monitor the flange and no further leakage was observed.|
Notes: LDEQ conducted an onsite inspected the morning of 11/15/11. Offsite air monitoring along the perimeter of the facility showed no elevated levels of H2S in the air.
|Sour Water Stripper Plant (SWS) #1||Cause: On 10/20/11 at approximately 3:35pm a release of hydrogen sulfide occurred at Motiva's Sour Water Stripper Plant (SWS). The release was attributed to a leak that was concealed behind insulation of the 14" outlet piping downstream of the SWS #1 overhead fans.|
Notes: Immediately upon discovery this system was shutdown and depressured to allow for inspections and repairs to be made. Additionally, the overhead piping at SWS #2 was function tested and put online where repairs were being made to the overhead piping at SWS #1.
|level bridle at sulfur plant S-3||Cause: On 10/15/11 at approximately 1:40 pm, a release of hydrogen sulfide occurred at Motiva's Sulfur Plant No. 3 (S-3) from a leaking level bridle. Immediately upon discovery, the leaking level bridle was isolated and the leak stopped. A maintenance work ticket was generated to fabricate a new spool piece to replace the leaking section of pipe on the level bridle. The new spool piece was then installed and the level bridle was put back in service with no issues.|
Notes: The report says that immediately upon discovery the level bridle was isolated and the leak stopped, yet the duration shows the leak went on for more than 1 day.
|Hydrocracker Flare (FE-301)||Cause: On 10/6/11 at 1:42 am, while preparing the unit for a planned shutdown, the 2nd stage reactors of Motiva's Hydrocracking (HCU) Unit experienced an unexpected sixty-degree temperature rise resulting in a unit trip. During the time of the event, HCU Operators were following unit shutdown procedures in preparation of an upcoming turnaround. The sudden increase in temperature on the reactor bed was caused when oil was swept out of the oil passes on furnace F-43 to the reactors. Per procedure, oil must be de-inventoried from the associated piping, the furnace outlet temperatures rose rapidly. Consequently the instrument protective function (IPF) on the reaction system was activated for high temperature, and tripped the process unit as per design. Immediately upon activation of the trip mechanism, the unit was secured and stabilized. Shortly after stabilization, HCU shutdown activities continued following all operational and safety procedures.|
Notes: For some reason this report contains an incident report for a previous incident from 2010 with the incident ID:128080 from Marathon's Refinery.
|Cat Cracker||Cause: While restarting the cat cracker until, materials flared|
Notes: No refinery letter.
|Flare: EPN 3-84||Cause: A leak occurred at HIC-84, along the downstream block valves, allowing nitrogen to enter the column causing a rapid pressure increase. The distilling unit upper crude column became overpressured, and PCV-195 opened the flare to relieve pressure in the column. EPN 3-84 Flare at Shell was used because the Motiva flare was upset and the pilot light was out. Original upset occurred at Motiva DU-5 Crude Unit with a notrogen leak into the Upper Crude Column.|
Notes: The Shell report for the motiva release was dated May 5th, 2010 instead of 2011.
|HCU Elevated Flare (EPN 4-84)||Cause: On April 28, 2011 at 0717, Motiva's Hydrogen Unit experienced a release to the atmosphere from a loss of pilot flame at HCU Elevated Flare (EPN 4-84).
Prior to the release, Motiva's Hydrogen Unit was in the process of restarting the unit after a planned maintenance activity. As part of the unit re-start procedure, operators are required to purge process vessels with steam and nitrogen to the HCU flare header in order to remove any excess oxygen that may have been entrained in the process vessels and/or piping as a result of maintenance activities. Following an investigation of this incident, Motiva has determined that steam was introduced into the Hydrogen plant process too quickly, causing a spike in nitrogen to the HCU flare which extinguished the flare pilots for approximately 6 minutes.|
Notes: Operations responded immediately to the pilot loss alarm by reducing the steam rate to the flare header and re-lighting the flare pilots. In order to prevent a similar incident in the future, a step will be added to the unit startup procedure to slowly increase the steam purge rate in 50lb increments and hold each rate constant for 30 minutes before increasing to the next flow rate.
|Coker Blowdown Vent||Cause: The facility reported the Coker unit was water quenching the coke material in Cooke Drum PV-918 and encountered a problem with an automated water quench sequence.|
Notes: The facility took the problematic water quench sequence out of automatic mode and and manually closed off on the water control valve. Once the pressure was reduced to normal operation, the quench cycle was completed. The sequence has been adjusted, and additional orders have been given to the Coker operators so that this activity is consistent on each work shift.
|HCU relief valve (RV-1178)||Cause: Release caused by a loss of separation in the High Pressure Separator which caused a relief valve to release. HCU relief valve (RV-1178) relieved to atmosphere due to a loss of product separation in PV-816 (HCU High Pressure Seperator). Rectified Absorber Column (PV-822) pressure built and was relieved by opening to the atmosphere.|
Notes: BRQ. Letter is predated by several months and appears to be a form. Data is accurate to the event and signed on the 17th of february.
|OL-5 Elevated Flare, FE-101 (EPN 6-84); OL-5 Ground Flare, FG-101 (EPN 7-84)|
RCCU CO Heater and Flue Gas Scrubber (EPN 2-91)
RCCU CO Heater and Flue Gas Scrubber (EPN 2-91); OL-5 Elevated Flare, FE-101 (EPN 6-84); OL-5 Ground Flare, FG-101 (EPN 7-84)
|Cause: On May 8, 2012, the Motiva Enterprise's Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit (RCCU) was struck by lightning during a heavy rainstorm event resulting in an unforeseen shutdown of the RCCU CO Heater and Flue Gas Scrubber (EPN 2-91). Consequently, an Instrument Protective Function (IPF) associated with the CO Heater's force draft fans automatically tripped the system's main fuel gas burners to safely secure the heater as per design. Motiva operations then worked to stablize the RCCU process unit and assess the damages to the RCCU CO Heater resulting from the lightning strike.
The causal analysis generated from the investigation of this incident revealed simultaneous alarms and IPF shutdowns for multiple pieces of equipment associated with the RCCU CO Heater during the time of the incident. A time stamp taken from the RCCU alarm summary noted that several pieces of equipment simultaneously shutdown at 5/8/2012 17:24:34. The pieces of equipment affected from this incident are listed below: CO Heater Forced Draft Fan Electric; CO Heater Forced Draft Fan Turbine; CO Heater Pilot Gas; RCCU Refrigeration Compressor Lube Oil; RCCU Main Air Blower Flow to Fluffing Rings; RCCU Cooling Water Pump Lube Oil Systems.
The data proved that the signals initiating the multiple trips were not generated by the processes themselves, but by a non-process related influence. The investigation team determined that a bolt of lightning struck somewhere in close proximity of the junction boxes for the different pieces of equipment near the RCCU CO Heater. Consequently, this caused an inadvertent energy pulse to either stop current on the analog systems, or provide enough voltage to energize the trip signal and shutdown the equipment listed above.
On May 8, 2012, Shell Chemical's OL-5 Process Unit experienced an unexpected shutdown of the OL-5 Process Gas Compressor (PGC) due to weather conditions which led to flaring at the OL-5 Elevated and Ground Flares. Weather conditions in the area caused issues in a Motiva Unit leading to a curtailment of the sites steam supply. As per site load shedding policies OL-5 was instructed to shut down the PGC which is a consumer of steam.|
Notes: Motiva: The RCCU initiated a unit shutdown in a controlled manner following all operating and safety procedures in order to minimize excess emissions to the atmosphere. As part of the initial shutdown procedure, operating rates were reduced significantly leading up the unit showdown. Simultaneously, a maintenance work plan was developed and executed in a effort to re-establish normal operations of the RCCU CO Heater. At this time electrical inspectors were called in to visually inspect the associated junction boxes for this shutdown system. Additionally, enhanced monitoring of the shutdown system was performed to assure that no damage had occurred as a result of the lightning strike. Once the maintenance work was complete, the RCCU CO Heater was returned to service. Operations then worked to stabilize the CO Heater operations, and began to reverse the shutdown process following all operating and safety procedures. Motiva completed IPF checks to confirm that the instrument protective functions for this system are functioning as needed. Shell Chemical LP.-East: Furnaces in OL-5 were taken off feed after the PGC was shutdown to minimize flaring. The OL-5 process unit was secured until the steam supply was restored to normal conditions to allow for a safe restart of the PGC. In their original final report, Shell Chemical LP - East Site indicated that the permit level for benzene was exceeded; they sent a corrected final report on August 9, 2012 explaining that the permit level for benzene was not exceeded as indicated in the earlier report. As seen on first table Date/Time: 5/8/12 17:25 - 5/9/12 17:25 for section V.a. carbon monoxide was released about reportable quantities. In addition to carbon monoxide being above reportable quantity, benzene was as well although it was not reported as such. The reportable quantity for benzene is 10 lbs with the total amount of benzene being released from Shell Chemical LP - East Site being 967.9 lbs. The LDEQ sent out an emergency responder, Nicole Hardy, who took atmospheric samples from May 8, 2012 at 17:40 to 5/9/12 at 23:30 for a total of 1 day, 5 hours and 50 minutes; all of the samples came back as being below the Permissible Exposure Limits. Although they do not report the pollutant as exceeding reportable quantity - the facility released quantities that exceeded reportable quantities for benzene during the 2 days of this event. The initial verbal notification was made on May 8, 2012. There was an initial written notification (follow up report to verbal notification) made by both Shell chemical and Motiva on July 3, 2012. The first written notification was not made in a timely manner as per state regulations. Since the July 3rd report was their first written notification following the initial verbal notification, therefore they missed the 7 day deadline to make written notification (the deadline would have been May 15, 2013; it would be 48 days late as it was written 55 days after the accident). Another follow up report termed the "final release report" was made by both Shell chemical and Motiva on August 2, 2012. A final follow up report termed the "corrected final release report" was made by by Shell chemical on August 9, 2012 - there was no corrected final report made by Motiva.
|FLARE: HCU flare (EPN-4-84)||Cause: The HIC on the low pressure separator (PV-817) was opened to the HCU flare (EPN-4-84) because an atmospheric relief valve (RV-4297) on the rectified absorber column (PV-822) at the Hydrocracking Unit relieved prior to its set point. Hydrocracker Flaring|
Notes: RV-4297 was isolated and repaired. Flaring stopped once the unit was stabilized.
|RCCU Elevated Flare||Cause: On December 23, 2013, the Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit (RCCU) Elevated Flare exceeded its 162 ppm three-hour rolling average limit for hydrogen sulfide. The monitoring capabilities of the hydrogen sulfide analyzer at the RCCU Elevated Flare were exceeded as the hydrogen sulfide to the flare continued to increase.
Several contributing factors were identified. One of these factors was that the cold weather was affecting some of the valve bodies by allowing small quantities of H2S to leak through a closed valve during lower ambient temperatures. In addition, it was found that the RCCU flare knock out drum and the maintenance drop out drum were contaminated with H2S as a result of recent shutdown activities.
This event did not result in an emergency condition. There were no fatalities, injuries, or road closures.|
Notes: Immediately, Operations began a systematic search for the sources of H2S routed to the flare. This search identifies all potential H2S intrusion points with the RCCU and RGHT Units, and prioritized those most likely contributing to the elevated H2S in the Flare system. Flushes the RCCU Elevated flare knock out drum and the maintenance drop out drum. Upgraded valves HV4346 a IV one-piece metal seats to class VI three-piece metal Teflon seats. Unit rate increases were delayed and unit feed rates were maintained during the duration of the incident. To prevent recurrences, the refinery will (1) evaluate the need to upgrade/replace additional RV and HIC valves that are routed to the RCCU Elevated Flare header in order to prevent leakage during cold weather; and (2) evaluate the need to apply weather shields and/or steam lances to valves affect by cold weather. The report does not mention when the refinery will implement these preventative measures.
|RCCU Flare (EPN 8-84)|
RCCU Flare (EPN 8-84)
|Cause: On December 14, 2013, the three-hour rolling average for the amount of hydrogen sulfide to the Residual Catalytic Cracking Unity (RCCU) Flare exceeded its 162 ppm limit. The hydrogen sulfide to the RCCU Flare continued to increase exceeding the monitoring capabilities of the flare's hydrogen sulfide analyzer. As a result, Operations monitored the hydrogen sulfide concentrations by sampling the flare header. Hydrogen sulfide concentrations fluctuated as troubleshooting occurred.
Several contributing factors were identified. One of these factors was that the cold weather was affecting some of the valve bodies by allowing small quantities of H2S to leak through a close valve during lower ambient temperatures. In addition, it was found that the RCCU flare knock out drum and the maintenance drop out drum were contaminated with H2S as a result of recent shutdown activities.|
Notes: Immediately, operations began a systematic search for the sources of H2S routed to the flare. This search identified all potential H2S intrusion points within the RCCU and RGHT Units, and prioritized those most likely contributing to the elevated H2S in the Flare system. Next, they flushed the RCCU elevated flare knock out drum and the maintenance drop out drum. Unit rate increases were delayed and unit feed rates were maintained during the duration of the incident. To prevent recurrences, the refinery will evaluate the need to upgrade/replace additional RV and HIC valves that are routed to the RCCU Elevated Flare header in order to prevent leakage during cold weather. Additionally, it will evaluate the need to apply weather shields and/or steam lances to valves affected by cold weather. Note: the 60-day report states: "Data gathering and calculations confirm no reportable quantities were exceeded during the release. However, the maximum pound per hour permit limit for sulfur dioxide was exceeded during this incident," and "The hydrogen sulfide to the the RCCU Flare exceeded the monitoring capabilities of the flare's hydrogen sulfide analyzer." Hence, the amount of hydrogen sulfide released (and not oxidized to SO2) is unknown.
|RCCU Flare (EPN 8-84)||Cause: On December 5, 2013, the three-hour rolling average for teh amount of hydrogen sulfide to the RCCU Flare exceeded its 162 ppm limit and teh 500 pound reportable quantity was exceeded on December 6, 2013 at 15:00 hours. The hydrogen sulfide to the RCCU FLare exceeded teh monitoring capabilities of teh flare's hydrogen sulfide analyzer. As a result, Operations monitored the hydrogen sulfide concentrations by sampling the flare header while trying to identify the source/sources of the elevated hydrogen sulfide.
On December 6, 2013 it was discovered that the dry gas specific gravity analyzer, AT-3812 was incorrectly routed to the flare. By correcting this line up, the hydrogen sulfide in the flare header was reduced and no further hydrogen sulfide reportable quantities were exceeded as a result of this incident.|
Notes: Immediately, Operations began a search for the source of hydrogen sulfide routing to the flare. Operations found that the sample return from the dry gas specific gravity analyzer, AT-3812, was incorrectly routed to the flare. On December 6, this stream was rerouted to the RCCU wet gas compressor. Operations flushed the RCCU Elevated flare knock drum and the maintenance drop out drum (which were suspected to be contaminated with hydrogen sulfide as a result of the recent shutdown activities). Unit rate increases were delayed and unit feed rates were maintained during the duration of this incident. To prevent re-occurrence of this incident, routing AI3812 correctly has been included in a Job Aid that Operations developed for troubleshooting situations in which there are high hydrogen sulfide concentrations at the RCCU Flare. Report states that releases of sulfur dioxide exceeded Reportable Quantity only on December 5 and 6. Sulfur Dioxide also exceeded reportable quantity limits on the December 7.
|charge pump, Hydrocracking Unit||Cause: Motiva's Hydrocracking Unit (HCU) flared process gas at the HCU Elevated Flare (FE 301) due to the partial shutdown of the HCU. A seal leak was discovered on the charge pump on the second stage of the HCU. Due to the location of the leak, the unit had to partially shut down to complete repairs. Flaring of hydrogen will continue intermittently to stabilize the remaining operating equipment. Flaring ceased once the charge pump was repaired and the unit returned to stable operating conditions. Flaring occurred on June 1 (367 minutes) and June 7 (1069 minutes).|
Notes: After the unit was shut down and secured, maintenance and engineering investigated and identified that a seal failure occurred. A repair plan was promptly developed and executed. Due to this incident being a repeat issue in a short period of time, Motiva chartered a full investigation. Findings from this investigation resulted in the installation of additional check valves to control pressure swings and to help manage the integrity of pump seals.
Connect With Us: