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Motiva Enterprises (1406), Norco

Releases of Particulate Matter

LDEQ Accident Number
Accident Date
Point Source(s) Notes Amount of Release
83649

2005-10-29
Unit Main Air Blower, RCCU Flare (EPN 8-84)
Cause: RCCU experienced instrument protective function shutdown activation of the unit's MAB just prior to the release. There was low oil pressure detected, therefore the MAB shut down automatically. The RCCU is dependent on the MAB for functioning.

Followup: No

Notes: Following the release, all units were secured and steps were taken to minimize emissions to flare resulting from the release. To prevent recurrence, analysis of the dynamics of the MAB lube oil system will take place in addition to implementing mechanical improvements such as: Relocation of pressure transmitters on MAB turbine, reduction of trim on P-7035 governor valve, installation of a time delay in the ICS trip logic for MAB machine, replacement of bearing oil regulation during the next RCCU turnaround, and installation of a new control oil regulator during the next RCCU turnaround.
43.0 pounds
83068

2005-10-12
GO-1 Elevated Flare
Cause: Flaring due to a process upset associated with the GO-1 Diethanolamine (DEA) treater tower.

Followup: Yes

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.
53.0 pounds
81012

2005-08-04
RCCU Flare (EPN #8-84), West Operations Ground Flare (WOGF- EPN 9-84)
Cause: "Maintenance was turning a blind when contents of the line began spraying from the line." Flaring occurred at the RCCU flare following the event during the RCCU unit startup. Additional downstream flaring occurred at the Shell Chemical LP GO-1 elevated flare and the Motiva West Operations Ground Flare.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Remedial actions: Vacuum trucks were deployed in attempt to capture the oil in the RCCU drainage system. Feed was immediately diverted from the unit. Flow into the main fractionator column was minimized while isolations were being made to the slurry circulation system. VSERT was activated to make positive isolation of the leak. Concerning recurrence prevention, Motiva's incident investigations group is investigation the incident and recommendations will be addressed.
24.0 pounds
80785

2005-07-25
West Ops Ground Flare (EPN #9-84)
Cause: An overhead analyzer and a differential pressure meter that normally monitor and control the propylene producing column were out of service for maintenance and inspection. Without these two indicators operations could not effectively tell if the column was operating properly. The production of unspecified product led to flaring. Flaring by GO-1 at Motiva's West Operations Ground Flare occurred due to Shell Chemical's GO-1 operations being asked to discontinue sending material to OL-5 until the process was back in control.

Followup: No

Notes: Called in by telephone on 07/25/2005 by Shell Chemical. Remedial actions: Material was flared at the West Ops Ground flare. Motiva maintains they were not in control of the incident and that a follow up letter was sent by Shell Chemical.
29.0 pounds
79812

2005-06-14

Shell Chemical GO-1 Processing Unit, GO-1 elevated flare
Cause: Entergy was in the process of performing a periodic maintenance on relays at the Norco Substation. A relay tip occurred at the Norco Substation unexpectedly. The power outage resulted in the shutdown of two compressors in the Shell Chemical GO-1 Process Unit, resulting in flaring of process gases at the GO-1 Elevated Flare.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Operations personnel took immediate corrective actions to minimize the level of emissions; process gases were flared at West Op Ground flare until the compressors re-started and the G0-1 process units were back under control; Motiva maintained that the incident was not under their control, rather the control of Shell Chemical and Louisiana Holdings LLP
10.2 pounds
77688

2005-03-18
Ship Keystone Texas
Cause: Source of black material was the ship "Keystone Texas" leaving the Motiva dock while releasing a large amount of smoke out of its boilers during initial power build-up. This black soot settled over Norco. The source of the material was not Shell or Motiva.

Followup: No

Notes: Citizen complaint of a black oily particulate being released into the air.
76671

2005-02-02
OL-5 Ground Flare, FG-101
Cause: Level controller on the BD5 Solvent Column was not functioning properly as solvent recovery column was pressuring up.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Level controller was repaired and returned to service. During the repair there was some flaring.
7.0 pounds
92925

2006-12-28
West Ops Ground Flare FG-201 (EPN #9-84)
Cause: Flaring due to an unexpected shutdown of a propylene refrigerant compressor in Shell Chemical's GO-1 Process Unit. Shutdown in Shell Chemical's GO-1 Process Unit was due to a high vibration alarm. The compressor is designed to shutdown when it experiences high vibration to prevent damage to the compressor.

Followup: Yes

Notes: GO-1 operations immediately restarted the compressor, but the process unit upset resulting from the shutdown led to flaring at the West Operations Ground Flare. GO-1 operations made adjustments to safely return the process unit to normal conditions. Flaring continued as needed until the unit returned to normal conditions.
119.0 pounds
92519

2006-12-09
GO-1 Elevated Flare
OL-5 Elevated Flare
Cause: Incident began at Shell Chemical's facility. Boil #9 at Shell Chemical shut down when wet steam was supplied to the pumps from the steam header. Wet steam caused the pumps to slow down, shutting down the boiler. To prevent shutdown of the plant, a planned sequence shut certain units down, causing a larger flaring incident. The root cause of the wet steam is stated as under investigation as of 10/05/09.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Flaring continued until Boiler #9 could be returned to service and steam production returned to normal. The process units were then safely returned to normal operation conditions once steam capacity was back to normal. An investigation will be conducted to determine the cause of the wet steam and appropriate preventative measures will be put in place. Flaring occurred at both the Motiva Norco facility and Shell Chemical facility. Flaring was not continuous throughout the incident start and end dates.
6.0 pounds
92519

2006-12-09
GO-1 Elevated Flare
OL-5 Elevated Flare
Cause: Incident began at Shell Chemical's facility. Boil #9 at Shell Chemical shut down when wet steam was supplied to the pumps from the steam header. Wet steam caused the pumps to slow down, shutting down the boiler. To prevent shutdown of the plant, a planned sequence shut certain units down, causing a larger flaring incident. The root cause of the wet steam is stated as under investigation as of 10/05/09.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Flaring continued until Boiler #9 could be returned to service and steam production returned to normal. The process units were then safely returned to normal operation conditions once steam capacity was back to normal. An investigation will be conducted to determine the cause of the wet steam and appropriate preventative measures will be put in place. Flaring occurred at both the Motiva Norco facility and Shell Chemical facility. Flaring was not continuous throughout the incident start and end dates.
125.0 pounds
91641

2006-10-25
West Ops Ground Flare (EPN# 9-84)
Cause: Operational issues at the Marathon Refinery caused them to send off-specification dry gas, high in hydrogen sulfide, to Shell Chemical's GO-1 Process Unit.

Followup: No

Notes: Flaring was not continuous throughout the start and end dates. A portion of the off specification dry-gas from the Marathon Refinery was flared at the Motiva West Operations Ground Flare to prevent contamination of downstream catalysts and an operational at GO-1 with potential for subsequent flaring. The West Ops Ground Flare is owned and operated by Motiva Enterprises, LLC. SCOGI Louisiana Holdings LLC and Shell Chemicals LP are the owner and operator, respectively, of the GO-1 Process Unit. Marathon is the supplier of dry gas to Shell Chemical.
8.0 pounds
91050

2006-10-02
Coker Flare FE-401 (EPN 2-84)
No iCoker Flare FE-401 (EPN 2-84)nformation given
Cause: Flaring resulted from the 3/4" drain line on the case of pump P-1983 breaking off while decon piping was being installed, causing the Coker Unit to be shutdown. Flushing oil was released from the pump casing to secondary containment but there was no release outside of the containment or to soil or water.

Followup: Yes

Notes: The Coker Unit was shut down and PV-901 depressured to reduce leaking while pump was isolated. Further corrective actions are being reviewed by Motiva Enterprises' legal department.
0.7 pounds
90114

2006-08-20
West Ops Ground Flare (EPN# 9-84)
Cause: Shell Chemical's GO-1 Process Unit experienced an exchanger leak, which led to a process unit shutdown and startup in order to complete repairs. GO-1's DEAD treater was also upset. This led to flaring at the Motiva West Operations Ground Flare.

Followup: No

Notes: Process gases were flared at the Motiva West Ops Ground Flare until the GO-1 process unit was restarted and under control. No further remedial actions; the incident was not under the control of Motiva. Flaring was not continuous throughout the start and end dates. The West Ops Ground Flare is owned and operated by Motiva Enterprises, LLC. SCOGI Louisiana Holdings LLC and Shell Chemical LP are the owner and operator of the GO-1 process unit.
650.0 pounds
89273

2006-07-20
RCCU CO Heater (EPN# 2-91)
Cause: Motiva's Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit (RCCU) was shutdown and restarted, releasing materials through the RCCU flue gas scrubber stack. During the RCCU shutdown, incomplete combustion of CO was attributed to high oxygen content in the CO heater firebox. The increase in oxygen was a result of cooling air being directed into the CO heater's CO annulus vua the unit's I-5 trip system. This system was tripped (open) during the initial shutdown of the unit, and was not reset (closed) prior to the restart of the RCCU.

Followup: No

Notes: Operations notified the Site Supervisor and took steps to minimize emissions resulting from the release. The cooling air to the CO annulus was reset and closed. Existing RCCU operating procedures regarding the rest of air to CO annulus have been amended.
88170

2006-05-26
GO-1 Process Unit ; West Ops Ground Flare (EPN 9-84)
West Ops Ground Flare (EPN 9-84)
Cause: Shell Chemical's GO-1 Process Unit experienced a small pipe leak on a line at the base of a process vessel. The leak developed during an online abrasive blasting job. In order to relieve pressure on this line, operations had to reduce rates at the GO-1 process unit. The reduction of rates caused flaring at Motiva's West Operations Ground Flare (EPN 9-84).

Followup: No

Notes: Shell Chemical installed a clamp to stop the leak then returned operations to normal conditions.
20.0 pounds
87231

2006-04-17
West Ops Ground Flare (EPN# 9-84)
Cause: A power outage caused a process upset at the Shell Chemical facility. This resulted in flaring at Motiva's West Operations Ground Flare.

Followup: No

Notes: No remedial actions; the incident was not under the control of Motiva Enterprises, LLC.
74.0 pounds
87197

2006-04-15
RCCU Flare (EPN 8-84) and GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90)
Cause: Motiva's Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit (RCCU) experienced a shutdown, causing the Main Fractionator overheads and Debutanizer overheads to be vented to the RCCU Flare (EPN 8-84) and the Shell Chemical GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPON 1-90). In addition, a release of propylene and butylene was generated from a RCCU atmospheric relief valve (RV-7205). Prior to the release on April 15, 2006, the RCCU experienced an unanticipated loss of level control in the Reactor Stripper vessel. At this point, operations had to place the stripper level control system in manual in an unsuccessful attempt to pro-actively control the level. Consequently, operating personnel were unable to fully determine and correct the root cause for the process upset, thus the decision was made to shut the RCCU down in order to safely stabilize the unit conditions. Operations utilized the Instrument Protective Function J-1 to safely divert feed from the unit and completed the shutdown per existing RCCU procedures.

Followup: No

Notes: Immediate corrective actions: The Wet Gas Compressor was kept running in recycle mode to minimize start-up flaring; the Main Air Blower was left running after the unit tripped; the duration of time the unit tripped and the time feed was introduced to the unit was kept relatively short; startup was performed per existing unit procedures. Motiva stated remedial actions as follows: Research modifications to the Reactor Stripper Vessel to improve stability of the catalyst flow in the Catalyst Standpipe; inspect the burp tube on the Catalyst standpipe; repair local flow indicators on the fluidization steam nozzles at the CS; develop a hot stand-by procedure for quick acquisition to understand the unit's status in terms of being ready for a unit restart. Flaring was not continuous throughout start and end dates.
216.0 pounds
85653

2006-02-06
RCCU Flare (EPN 8-84)
Cause: The Wet Gas Compressor at Motiva's RCCU slowed down due to a site-wide loss in steam pressure. The loss in steam-pressure was due to the shutdown of Shell Chemical's Utilities East Boil #8 after a tube rupture. The slow down of the compressor resulted in hydrocarbon flaring at the RCCU Flare.

Followup: No

Notes: RCCU made a reduction in feed rate during the initial upset in order to stabilize operations. RCCU operations personnel reacted accordingly to the loss in steam pressure. Corrective actions to prevent future boiler shutdowns will be addressed in a separate letter by Shell Chemical. Flaring was not continuous throughout the start and end dates.
5.0 pounds
109940

2008-10-08
RCCU unit CO heater
Cause: RCCU unit discovered several tube leaks in the CO heater, necessitating a controlled shutdown of the heater and RCCU and the diversion of all regenerator flue gas to the atmosphere and away from the flue gas scrubber to mitigate safety concern. Even went on over 5 days--RQs exceeded. No DEQ report in this file--follow-up only.

Followup: No

Notes: 76 tubes that were in poor condition replaced in the CO heater.
21,166.0 pounds
105124

2008-04-26
RCCU Elevated Flare (EPN 8-84)
Cause: Boiler 7 tripped, causing a swing in the 1300 pound steam header to the RCCU. Motiva's RCCU Wet Gas Compressor slowed considerably, causing venting of the suction to the RCCU elevated flare.

Followup: Yes

Notes:
22.1 pounds
128035

2010-12-08
FLARE: Coker WGC (K-2178), Coker Flare (EPN 2-84)
Cause: Refinery letter states that Motiva experienced a flaring release caused by an unexpected shutdown of the Coker Wet Gas compressor due to power loss. Power loss is attributed to fault in MCC breaker and 4160V buss.

Followup: No

Notes: RQ. Coker Unit shutdown and restarted when flaring stopped. Re-evaluated relay settings and adjusted as needed to reduce potential for future trips.
8.7 pounds
127553

2010-11-08
FLARE: DHT Unit; SHELL OL-5 Flare (EPN 6-84)
Cause: Motiva DHT vent gas compressor tripped due to high liquid level in compressor's overhead accumulator (PV-1987). DHT experienced a rapid increase in feed rate DU-5 unit. Shared flaring incident with SHELL CHEMICAL LP.

Followup: Yes

Notes: RQ. Letter includes emissions calculations information. Took immediate corrective actions to return unit to normal feed conditions and restarted DHT vent compressor when flaring stopped. DHT operators were given safety training.
4.8 pounds
126371

2010-09-14

FLARE: RCCU flare (FE-201); Shell GO-1 Flare (EPN 1-90)
Cause: RCCU unit tripped and shut-down. Spend catalyst slide valve was not functioning properly and shut-down occurred during troubleshooting of valve. Shared flaring incident with SHELL CHEMICAL LP [GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90)].

Followup: No

Notes: Initiated study to review current maintenance program. Slide valve failure was also identified as a site threat and entered into Motiva's threats database to be tracked.
124245

2010-06-16
FLARE: DHT Unit; OL-5 Flare (FE-101)
Cause: Power outage from inclement weather caused a compressor on Motiva's Diesel Hydrotreater Unit (DHT) to trip releasing sulfur dioxide from the OL-5 Flare at Shell Chemical. Shared flaring incident with SHELL CHEMICAL LP.

Followup: No

Notes: BRQ. Report states that incident was BRQ but permit limit for SO2 was exceeded. Entergy was called to make repairs and "operations took corrective actions to safely return unit to normal conditions and minimize flaring."
0.3 pounds
121815

2010-03-01
FLARE - Shell's GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90)
Cause: LDEQ report states, "cat cracker tripped due to main air blower problems." Refinery letter states there was an unexpected shutdown of Motiva's RCCU Process Unit; had to flare dry gas being fed to Shell's GO-1 Process Unity to meet specifications to prevent further contamination to GO-1 and need for additional flaring. FLARE.

Followup: No

Notes: RQ. Reportable quantities exceeded. File includes letters from both Motiva and Shell Chemical. Motiva letter dated 3/8/2010 references submitting a follow-up within 60 day and Shell letter references "a separate letter from Motiva dated 4/28/10," but follow-up letter from Motiva is not included in file.
202.0 pounds
121003

2010-01-22
DU5 Unit
Cause: LDEQ field report states that incident involved a fire and heavy gas oil leak in the DU5 Unit. Resulted in shut down of DU5, SATS, and DIH units. FIRE. LDEQ report states that "facility failed to perform operating procedures to prevent or reduce air pollution as required by LAC 33:III:905 A.

Followup: Yes

Notes: RQ. Reportable quantity for particulate matter and CO were exceeded. LDEQ field report states that according to facility personnel perimeter air monitoring at time of fire was conducted and indicated no off-site impact. As of 1/23/10 approximately 12,000 gallons of skimmed material [oil & water] had been collected. FOLLOW-UP: Resulted in emergency condition. Fire was extinguished. Vacuum trucks and boom deployed to contain spill and firefighting fluid. Soil excavated and transported to landfill.
7,832.0 pounds
134290

2011-09-29
Coker Flare FE-401
Cause: While starting the Coker Jet Pump on 9/29/11 at 6:45pm, the electrical breaker at Motiva's Coking Unit tripped de-energizing the Motor Control Center. Consequently, the Coker Wet Gas Compressor tripped offline therefore resulting in unit flaring and operating in hot circulation mode. Hot circulation mode is an operating mode in which the unit recycles feed at high temperatures. This mode of operation lessens the amount of flaring in comparison to a complete unit shutdown. The initial inspection of the Jet Pump revealed that the auto-transformer serving as a soft start for this pump had failed causing the electrical breaker to trip open. Once repairs were completed, the Coker Unit was safely re-started and flaring stopped.

Followup: No

Notes: Immediately, Operations placed the furnace F-125 in hot steam standby and brought the Coker Unit into hot circulation mode to prevent additional flaring of non treated gas. Norco maintenance personnel were called out to troubleshoot the trip of the Coker Wet Gas Compressor and related equipment. The auto-transformer was removed from the circuit. Relay coordination was modified in order to protect the new circuit. After troubleshooting, maintenance personnel determined that operations could safely re-start the Coker Process Unit. During this time the Coker Wet Gas Compressor was restarted and flaring stopped. By 12/31/11 a study will be completed to determine whether the auto-transformer can be permanently removed from the system. After this study is completed, a strategy will be created to address the required changes. This action will be completed by 3/31/12. Calculations confirm that the reportable quantity for sulfur dioxide was exceeded as well as the permitted maximum pound per hour emission limits for carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, VOC's, 1,3 butadiene, and benzene as a result of the release.
12.0 pounds
134190

2011-09-26
8-84 RCCU Elevated flare
GO-1 Elevated Flare
Cause: On 9/26/11, Motiva's RCCU Process Unit identified smoke exiting the insulation on the process unit's reactor stripper overhead piping, indicating a leak of hydrocarbon. Consequently, the RCCU process unit had to divert feed causing flaring to occur at the RCCU Flare (EPN 8-89). The process unit safely diverted feed and continued to maintain catalyst circulation in order to avoid additional flaring. All operational and safety procedures were following at this time. Immediately after stabilizing the unit, insulation was removed from the overhead piping to determine the source of the leak. the leak was identified as a set of flanges on the reactor stripper overhead piping. Attempts were made to re-torque the flanges and stop the leak. However, the re-torquing efforts were unsuccessful and a decision was made to fabricate and install a blade clamp to permanently stop the leak. As of 9/28/11, the blade clamp was installed and the leak on the overhead piping had stopped. The RCCU had been restarted following all operational and safety procedures and remained at steady operation. the RGHT had not been restarted at that time. On 9/26/11 Motiva Enterprises LLC RCCU unit was shut down to do some maintenance work. Flaring occurred at the GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 9-84) as a result of the restart of Motiva's RCCU Unit. Untreated dry gas from the RCCU is flared during the restart of the RCCU at the GO-1 Elevated flare before the dry gas can be introduced to GO-1 as a feed.

Followup: Yes

Notes: The RCCU diverted feed and continued to maintain catalyst circulation in order to avoid additional flaring and stabilize the unit. Operations worked to identify the source of the leak and made preparations for repair. The flanges associated with the leak source were re-torqued in an attempt to stop the leak. A box clamp was fabricated and installed to encapsulate and stop the leak. Maximum lb/hr limits were exceeded for sulfur dioxide and VOC's, because the incident release was spread out across close to 3 days no reportable quantities were exceeded. Two follow up letters were received.
99.4 pounds
134190

2011-09-26
8-84 RCCU Elevated flare
GO-1 Elevated Flare
Cause: On 9/26/11, Motiva's RCCU Process Unit identified smoke exiting the insulation on the process unit's reactor stripper overhead piping, indicating a leak of hydrocarbon. Consequently, the RCCU process unit had to divert feed causing flaring to occur at the RCCU Flare (EPN 8-89). The process unit safely diverted feed and continued to maintain catalyst circulation in order to avoid additional flaring. All operational and safety procedures were following at this time. Immediately after stabilizing the unit, insulation was removed from the overhead piping to determine the source of the leak. the leak was identified as a set of flanges on the reactor stripper overhead piping. Attempts were made to re-torque the flanges and stop the leak. However, the re-torquing efforts were unsuccessful and a decision was made to fabricate and install a blade clamp to permanently stop the leak. As of 9/28/11, the blade clamp was installed and the leak on the overhead piping had stopped. The RCCU had been restarted following all operational and safety procedures and remained at steady operation. the RGHT had not been restarted at that time. On 9/26/11 Motiva Enterprises LLC RCCU unit was shut down to do some maintenance work. Flaring occurred at the GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 9-84) as a result of the restart of Motiva's RCCU Unit. Untreated dry gas from the RCCU is flared during the restart of the RCCU at the GO-1 Elevated flare before the dry gas can be introduced to GO-1 as a feed.

Followup: Yes

Notes: The RCCU diverted feed and continued to maintain catalyst circulation in order to avoid additional flaring and stabilize the unit. Operations worked to identify the source of the leak and made preparations for repair. The flanges associated with the leak source were re-torqued in an attempt to stop the leak. A box clamp was fabricated and installed to encapsulate and stop the leak. Maximum lb/hr limits were exceeded for sulfur dioxide and VOC's, because the incident release was spread out across close to 3 days no reportable quantities were exceeded. Two follow up letters were received.
169.9 pounds
134097

2011-09-21
8-84 RCCU Elevated flare
Cause: On 9/21/11, Motiva's SBA Feed Prep Process Unit experienced a block valve malfunction during a back flush of exchanger E-809D. A cooling water supply valve for this exchanger failed in the closed position causing the exchanger to leak for five minutes. Consequently, there was not adequate cooling water to the exchanger and the SBA process unit had to be shutdown and depressured to the RCCU Flare (EPN-8-84). The process unit was safely shutdown following all operational safety procedures. The elevated flaring associated with the shutdown activities stopped on 9/21/11 at 11:15pm. Repair work for the cooling water system was completed and the SBA Feed Prep Unit was successfully restarted on 9/21/11.

Followup: Yes

Notes: The feed to the SBA Unit was immediately diverted and the process unit was idled. Due to a lack of cooling water, the SBA unit was then depressured and the unit cooling water system was de-inventoried in order to make the necessary repairs. Motiva replaced the cooling water valves associated with the system in order to prevent a similar recurrence. The maximum lb/hr permit limits for sulfur dioxide and VOCs were exceeded during the unit shutdown and restart activities.
75.3 pounds
133785

2011-09-02
Shell Chemical LP Utilities East Flare (EPN 3-84)
Cause: Motiva Norco experienced a malfunction and shutdown of the RCCU refrigerant chiller compressor (K-7200) resulting in a flare at the Shell Chemical LP Utilities East Flare (EPN 3-84) releasing nitrogen oxide and propylene.

Followup: No

Notes: LDEQ provided, but there was no Refinery Report included in the file. Motiva states that "final calculations confirmed no reportable quantities or permit limits were exceeded as a result of the incident".
4.2 pounds
133050

2011-08-05
Hydrocrakcer unit
Cause: The Hydrocracker unit shutdown due to an electrical failure of the motor on P-1940, the charge pump of the 2nd stage of the Hydrocracker Unit. EPN 4-84 and FE-301

Followup: Yes

Notes: Operations shutdown and secured the 1st and 2nd stages of the Hydrocracker. A temporary onsite replacement motor for P-1940 was used to restore power to the motor control center to support HCU restart.
893.5 pounds
132264

2011-07-08
9-84 (West Operations Ground Flare, FG-201)
Cause: On July 8, 2011 Shell Chemical's GO-1 Process Unit experienced a unit upset due to issues with re-boilers. This process upset led to flaring at the Motiva's West Operations Ground Flare (EPN 9-84).

Followup: No

Notes: The Go-1 Process unit was safely returned to normal operating conditions. Corrective actions to prevent reoccurrence will be addressed in a separate letter from Shell Chemical.
37.3 pounds
129817

2011-03-11
GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN1-90)
Cause: Faulty Positioner ina control valve caused high levels in a suction drum. This caused the PGC to shutdown. The control valve was tested and returned to service. On March 11, 2011, the Process Gas Compressor (PGC) shutdown due to a high level indication in the fourth stage suction drum. The PGC is designed to shutdown under this condition to protect the compressor. Flaring occurred at the GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN1-90) as a result of the PGC shutdown. Additional flaring as a result of this upset also occurred at Motiva's West Operation Ground Flare and will be addressed in a separate letter.

Followup: No

Notes: The PGC was checked and secured by operations. Feed reductions to the unit were made to minimize flaring while repairs to the PGC were made. After investigating the system, a faulty positioner in a control valve was identified as the cause of the high level in the suction drum that led to the PGC shutdown. Maintenance personnel replaced the positioner and the control valve was tested and placed back in service. The PGC was safely returned to normal operating conditions. Once the GO-1 Process Unit was returned to normal operating conditions the flaring was stopped. An alarm point will be installed to give operations an indication that the control valve is not functioning properly and allow for maintenance inspection prior to failure.
1,391.7 pounds
144566

2012-11-13
Olefins Flare (EPN 6-84)
Cause: On November 13, 2012 at 08:45 hours, Motiva's Diesel Hydrotreater (DHT) flared vent gas to Shell Chemical's OL-5 elevated flare. This flaring was due to the DHT vent gas compressor (K-5337) tripping as a result of a high liquid level in the stripper's overhead accumulator (PV-1987) and in the compressor's interstage knock out pot (PV-1988). In addition, the DHT's recycle compressor (K5339) tripped due to high level in the recycle gas compressor knock out pot (PV-2028).

Followup: Yes

Notes: No remedial actions were given. The flaring occurred at Shell Chemical East, but was caused by a compressor tripping at Motiva Enterprises Norco Refinery's Diesel Hydrotreater (DHT) unit. No reportable quantities were exceeded; however the permitted limits for sulfur dioxide were exceeded as a result of this release. Only gives the total VOCs released in the Permitted Source Emissions table; no breakdown per chemical even though they stated some of the released VOCs in their written notification (ethane, hydrogen sulfide, isobutane, methane, n-butane, and propane). SPOC states that 6000-7000 lbs per hour were sent to the elevated flare, and with a 99% flare efficiency it only resulted in 32 lbs of hydrocarbons being released per hour.
0.4 pounds
142429

2012-08-28
multiple
Cause: Motiva Enterprises LLC, Norco Refinery is providing a preliminary report for a verbal notification on August 28, 2012 at 1854 hours of a release of 1,3 butadiene, benzene, carbon dioxide, ethylene, flammable gas, hexane, methane, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, propylene and sulfur dioxide from flaring and potential releases to atmosphere from the unexpected shutdown and restart of the site before and during inclement weather due to landfall of Hurricane Isaac. On August 28, 2012, Shell Chemical Norco Site operation was adversely affected by inclement weather due to the landfall of Hurricane Isaac. Several of Shell's Units were un-expectantly shutdown due to safety concerns associated with operating in the weather conditions brought on by the landfall of Hurricane Isaac. All materials were released lo the atmosphere from the associated flare's, and dispersed naturally.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Recovery and preparations for a safe re-start of the site is ongoing (Notification on September 4th). Data gathering to perform calculations and investigation are ongoing. Motiva will provide an update within 60 days as required by LAC 33:1 3925.A.3. The updates were each a word for word copy of the original written notification letter from Motiva. There were also duplicate letters printed on the Shell Chemical letterhead that contained all of the same details from the Motiva reports. At this time (May 22 2013) LDEQ is still processing the update that they claim will have final calculations from their investigation. February 20, 2013 is the most recent follow-up that LABB was able to find (Update May 2013 - we requested the final summary report from LDEQ and received this final report that was published April 25th, 2013). The final report lists completely different pollutants than the list that was being reported in prior written notifications. These inconsistencies are not addressed in the report. Final summary report from Shell chemical 4/25/2013: Shell Chemical operations look the necessary steps to safely shut units down and minimize emissions resulting from the weather associated with Hurricane Isaac. Operations assessed damages, made repairs to equipment and safely return process units to normal operating conditions. RCCU at Motiva Enterprises (from final summary letter dated april 25 2012) On August 29, 2012, Motiva's Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit (RCCU) initiated a shutdown of the process unit due to inclement weather associated with Hurricane Isaac making landfall. During this time, the RCCU experienced an unexpected loss of flare pilot indication at the RCCU Elevated Flare, and a loss of pilot indication on the RCCU CO Heater due to hurricane force winds. An inadvertent catalyst leak developed during this time on level indicator Ll1548. Subsequently, the pH control on the circulation water for the RCCU Flue Gas Scrubber was lost at this time. The reportable quantities for volatile organic compounds and particulate matter were exceeded during this time. Additional details on reportable quantity and permit limit exceedences are listed in the following tables of this report. (also from April 25th report) Shell Chemical Venting to Motiva West Operations Ground Flare On August 29, 2012, Shell Chemical's G0-1 Process Unit flared at Motiva's West Operations Ground Flare due to shutdown and startup activities due to adverse weather conditions associated with the landfall of Hurricane Isaac. Details of the flaring by Shell Chemical are addressed in a separate letter from Shell. A total of the VOCs is given, but report states certain VOCs (carbon dioxide, ethylene, flammable gas, methane, propylene) that do not have breakdown of individual amounts released anywhere. This event did not result in an emergency condition. There were no fatalities, injuries or road closures. Planning and review meetings were held, learning's will be executed in future weather related occurrences as appropriate.
4,123.2 pounds
140882

2012-06-28
Shell Chemical's GO-1 Elevated Flare and Motiva West Operations Ground Flare
Cause: There was an unexpected loss of a boiler, causing a steam load shed, causing a unit shutdown, which caused the flaring. There was flaring at both Shell Chemical's 1-90 GO-1 Elevated Flare FE-602 and Motiva West Operations Ground Flare. The unexpected loss of the boiler was a due to a loss of lube oil on the forced draft fan and broken linkage of the trip and throttle valve.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Calculations and investigations confirm that the reportable quantity for 1,3-Butadiene was exceeded during release from the flare. Maximum permitted limits were exceeded for 1,3-Butadiene and Hexane from the West Ops Ground Flare. Ethylene, PAHs, and sulfur dioxide were listed in the written reports as being released but do not have the amounts released in the Permitted Source Emissions tables.
2,346.0 pounds
139564

2012-05-08
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.

Followup: Yes

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.
2,168.9 pounds
152971

2013-12-23
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.

Followup: Yes

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.
0.4 pounds
152855

2013-12-14
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.

Followup: Yes

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.
3.7 pounds
152739

2013-12-05
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.

Followup: Yes

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.
20.5 pounds
146682

2013-02-18
4-84 Hydrocracker Flare (FE-301)
Cause: On February 18, 2013 Motiva Enterprises in Norco experienced a relase of benzene, butane, flammable gas, hydrogen, hydrogen sulfide, propane, and volatile organic compounds to the atmosphere due to a release valve on the dubutanizer relieving at the Hydrocracking Unit (HCU) and flaring at the Hydrocracker Flare (EPN 4-84). The flaring was caused by an unexpected shutdown of the second stage of the Hydrocracker Unit. On February 18, 2013 at 0628 hours, the atmospheric relieve valve on the debutanizer at Motiva's Hydrocracking Unit (HCU) relieved, ultimately leading to the second stage of the HCU shutting down. The atmospheric release from the debutanizer column was due to a tube rupture on one of the upright exchangers in the second stage of the HCU. The second stage of the HCU was shutdown to stabilize the unit and minimize safety risks.

Followup: Yes

Notes: This release began on February 18, 2013 and ended on March 13, 2013. The repair of the ruptured tube on the upright exchangers in the second stage of the HCU was completed on March 11, 2013. Start up activities began once a pressure test was completed on the previously damaged exchanger and were completed on March 13, 2013 at 1600 hours. While the repair was being completed, high purity hydrogen was flared and emissions were below the permitted limits. It was determined that the cause of the tube rupture was as a result of stress corrosion cracking. To prevent this accident from reoccuring, the method to decontaminate the exchanger will change. During the next unit turnaound, the exchanger will be decontaminated using a different wash, which will prevent stress corrosion cracking.
168.4 pounds
145719

2013-01-05
1-90(GO-1 Elevated Flare, FE-602)
RCCU Elevated Flare (EPN 8-84), 1-90(GO-1 Elevated Flare FE-602)
Cause: On January 5, 2013, Motiva's Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit (RCCU) discovered a catalyst leak from a section of piping on the unit's West Secondary Cyclone Dip Leg. Operations responded immediately and worked to isolate this section of line. However, due to the location of the leak it was determined the line could not be isolated without shutting down the RCCU process unit. RCCU Operations then initiated a controlled unit shutdown following all operating and safety procedures. As part of the RCCU shutdown process, catalyst circulation within the West Secondary Cyclone Dip Leg was halted and the leak stopped. During this event, GO-1 flared RCCU Dry Gas at the GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90) on January 6, 2013, January 9, 2013, and January 10, 2013. The GO-1 flaring resulted in reportable quantities exceeded during the release for Sulfure Dioxide and permit limit exceeded of Hexane on January 9, 2013 and January 10, 2013. Emission Calculations were performed using process data and appropriate AP-42 emission factors. Final update report 4/10/13 corrects cover letter of 3/7/13 report, which inaccurately stated that no reportable quantities were exceeded.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Immediate remedial actions: Operations worked to identify the source of the leak and made preparations for a repair. RCCU operations initiated a controlled unit shutdown to allow for maintenance repairs. As part of the RCCU shutdown process, catalyst circulation within the West Secondary Cyclone Dip Leg was halted and the leak stopped. Once this system was secure, Motiva contract maintenance personnel began welding repairs at the catalyst leak point. On January 8, 2013, the weld repairs on this system were completed and the system was returned to service. Motiva operations restarted the RCCU process unit following all operational and safety procedures on January 14, 2013. Additionally, there were no reportable quantities exceeded during the release. However, the maximum pound per hour limit for sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds and particulate matter were exceeded. All materials routed to flare were combusted with an appropriate destruction efficiency of 99.5%, released from the RCCU Elevated Flare to the atmosphere, and dispersed naturally. To prevent recurrence of the incident, a field weld was made as a final repair to the leak. A release at Shell Chemicals resulted in flaring at the Shell facility as well as the Motiva facility. Motiva states that the flare release was not a reportable quantity, while Shell's release was.
847.1 pounds
158077

2014-08-14
Residual Cat Cracking Unit
Cause: On September 5, 2014 Motiva Enterprises in Norco reported a potential release of n-butane adn 2-butene. On August 14, 2014 the Residual Cat Cracking Unit (RCCU) had an unanticipated flaring event at the RCCU Elevated Flare when the RCCU's Debutanizer Overhead Accumulator began to unexpectedly overpressure. Pumps located at the Debutanizer received a false indication that a valve was in the closed position causing the pumps to shut down. Once the pumps shut down, the liquid level in the Debutanizer Overhead Accumulator increased with the unit column pressure. The valve on the Debutanizer Overhead Accumulator was opened to the flare to relieve the column pressure and to prevent any relief valves (RVs) in the unit from relieving to the atmosphere.

Followup: No

Notes: Operations investigated and verified that the system reading was false and the valve was not closed. Action was taken to bypass the valve and the pumps were able to start again. Once the pumps were restarted, the pressure stabilized in the unit and the flaring stopped. The electrical department investigated the issue and discovered that the wiring was no longer in good condition. The electrical department replaced the wiring to the pump valve indicator.
17.2 pounds
157955

2014-08-08
Hydrocracking Unit
Cause: On August 8, 2014 Motiva's Hydrocracking Unit (HCU) flared process gas at the HCU elevated flare (FE-301) due to a unit upset. Contractors working in the area inadvertently opened a valve to supply instrument air to their project, but reduced necessary air supply to HCU resulting in loss of instrument air to various pressure relief valved (PRVs). These PRVs, designed to fail in the open position, released process gas to the flare due to loss of instrument air as a safety mechanism causing the unit upset at the HCU.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Report was submitted by Motiva Enterprises, however the AI number provided was for Shell Chemical Plant-East Side. Motiva and Shell Chemical are located on the same lot and share many processes.
4.5 pounds
157959

2014-08-08
Hydrocracking Unit
Cause: On August 8, 2014 Motiva's Hydrocracking Unit (HCU) flared process gas at the HCU Elevated Flare (FE-301) due to the shutdown and subsequent start up of the unit. HCU safely shutdown to repair a ruptured tube on a fin fan cooler. The ruptured tube caused a diesel release that remained in secondary containment. Data gathering and calculations confirm no reportable quantities were exceeded during the release. However, the permitted maximum hourly emission rate limit for benzene, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds were exceeded.

Followup: No

Notes: Operations was able to isolate the fin fan to stop the diesel release. The unit was restarted on August 14.
43.1 pounds
157378

2014-07-13
Butane-butylene reactor, emergency depressuring valve
Cause: A malfunction of the solenoid on the emergency depressuring valve caused a release of butylenes and highly reactive volatile organic compounds from the OL5 Ground Flare (FG-101).

Followup: No

Notes: Shell Chemical confirmed that no reportable quantities were exceeded. However, the maximum permitted limits for carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter were exceeded at the OL5 Ground Flare (FG-101). Solenoid was immediately replaced once the emergency depressuring valve was safely isolated from the process.
50.0 pounds
156452

2014-06-01
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).

Followup: Yes

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.
24.3 pounds
154425

2014-03-12
4-84 Hydrocracker Flare (Fe-301)
Cause: On 3/12/2014 Motiva's Hydrocracking Unit (HCU) flared process gas at the HCU Elevated Flare (FE 301) due to the partial shutdown of the HCU. An unexpected 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 continued intermittently to stabilize the remaining operating equipment. On 3/29/14 the Hydrocracker Unit began a startup of the unit. Flaring ceased once the charge pump was repaired and the unit restarted. Emitted 0.32 pounds more of Benzene than permitted for.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Immediately after the unit was safely shut down, the problem was investigated and identified. To prevent the reoccurrence of the incident, a new seal was installed on 3/24/14. The seal oil system was checked prior to start up for deficiencies and none were found.
237.8 pounds
154210

2014-02-27
RCCU
Cause: On 2/27/2014, an unexpected leak occured on Motiva's Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit (RCCU) second cyclone dip leg. Due to the location of the leak, the catalyst leak cound not be safely repaired while the unit was fully operations. A partial shutdown of the RCCU was conducted to stop the leak and complete repairs. While the unit was partially shut down, flaring occured intermittently at the RCCU Elevated Flare (EPN FE201) to safely stabilize equipment that was still operational. During the start up of RCCU, untreated dry gas was flared at the GO1 Elevated Flare.

Followup: Yes

Notes: To minimize additional unit upset and to safely repair the catalyst leak , the RCCU Unit was partially shut down in a safe manner. The catalyst leak was stopped and the second cyclone dip leg was repaired. The original report and the first follow up report included in the event description that untreated dry gas was flared at the GO1 Elevated Flare during the start-up of RCCU. This was not included in the final follow up report. Additionally, two follow up reports were sent by Motiva, the first dated 4/24/2014 to provide a 60 day follow up. In this correspondence it is stated that they will provide a second update within 60 days, as data gathering and investigation was ongoing. The final follow up report was received on 6/24/2014.
22.0 pounds