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Motiva Enterprises (1406), Norco

Releases of Sulfur Dioxide

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.
3,991.0 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.
17,766.0 pounds
81720

2005-08-28
General facility
Refinery Wastewater Treatment System (RWTS), LPDES Outfall 006;
Wastewater treatment facility
Cause: Unanticipated bypasses of wastewater treatment facilities occurred due to Hurricane Katrina.

Followup: Yes

Notes:
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.
916.0 pounds
80320

2005-07-06
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.

Followup: No

Notes: Motiva claims that this was not preventable because of the unforeseeable weather conditions.
1,150.0 pounds
78747

2005-05-03
Hydrocracker, Coker, CR-1 and NHT units
Cause: The Coker, Hydrocrack, and CR-1 process units unexpectedly shut down due to a loss of 100# instrument air. The instrument air block valve on the line supplying the Coker, Hydrocracker, and CR-1 was mistakenly closed. An operator was instructed to close the 2" soft water valve for maintenance and operator mistakenly identified the 2" 100# instrument air valve as the 2" soft water valve.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Remedial actions involved shutting down the affected operating units; found that Sulfur Dioxide levels were exceeded from the HCU flare and Volatile Organic Compounds exceeded at the Coker Flare.
296.2 pounds
77795

2005-03-23
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.

Followup: No

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.
66.4 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.
159.0 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.
17,463.0 pounds
92470

2006-12-07
West Ops Ground Flare (EPN# 9-84)
Cause: Flaring at West Ops Ground Flare (EPN #9-84) occurred due to a shut down and start up of GO-1 Process Unit to repair a leaking heat exchanger.

Followup: No

Notes: Letter states that emissions were BRQ. Emission point was from Motiva Norco's flares. However, the root cause of the accident occurred in Shell Chemical Plant.
92253

2006-11-25

Cause: Verbal notification on 11/25/06 states flaring was due to starting Motiva Norco unit up from a turn around.

Followup: Yes

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.
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.
15.0 pounds
91490

2006-10-18
West Ops Ground Flare (EPN# 9-84)
Cause: Shell Chemical's Boiler #7 shutdown unexpectedly due to a tube failure. As a result, several production units has to shutdown to safely stabilize the steam system. The Shell Chemical GO-1 Process Unit had to shutdown the process gas compressor as a result of the boiler shutdown. The shutdown of the process gas compressor resulted in flaring at the Motiva West Operations Ground Flare.

Followup: No

Notes: Process gases were flared a the West Operation Ground Glare at Motiva until the GO-1 compressor at Shell Chemical was restarted and the processes under control.
3.0 pounds
No LDEQ Reported

2006-10-05
RCCU Flare (EPN 8-84)
Cause: Event due to the decontamination of process equipment at the RCCU.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Investigation ongoing as of 10/12/06. No follow-up report can be located due to lack of LDEQ number.
91094

2006-10-03
West Ops Ground Flare (EPN# 9-84)
Cause: An unexpected shutdown of two process compressors at Shell Chemical's GO-1 Process Unit caused flaring at Motiva's West Operations Ground Flare (EPN #9-84).

Followup: No

Notes: Flaring was not continuous throughout start and end dates.
5.0 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.
257.4 pounds
90191

2006-08-23
Coker Flare (EPN# 2-84)
Cause: Flaring occurred at the S-2 Incinerator due to the shutdown and restart and Motiva's Sulfur Plant No. 3.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Data gathering to perform calculations and incident investigation is ongoing as of 08/30/06.
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.
1,173.0 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.
1,131.7 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.
69.0 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.
4,418.0 pounds
86806

2006-03-28
HCU ATM RV-1177
HCU Flare (EPN 4-84)
Multiple
Cause: The 13.8 breaker providing power to MCC #1,2,3 in the HUC switchgear opened, resulting in a complete unit shutdown.

Followup: Yes

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.
414.4 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.
476.0 pounds
100076

2007-10-06
HCU flare
Cause: Leaking relief valve sent sulfur dioxide to HCU (hydrocracker unit) flare. No detailed description of event given.

Followup: Yes

Notes: No information given regarding remedial actions. Discrepancy regarding duration of leak--Report dated 11/07/07 states start/end time as only 4min; report dated 07/02/08 states that a valve was leaking on 10/06/07 and was not discovered until 10/09/07.
93653

2007-02-01
Utilities East Flare EPN 3-84
Cause: Release was due to an unexpected leak on the DU-5 Waste Gas Compressor K-1876.

Followup: Yes

Notes: No information given regarding remedial actions.
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.
21,640.0 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:
1,182.4 pounds
115844

2009-06-20
Coker Flare
Cause: There was an operational upset with the wet gas compressor at the Coker Fractionator that resulted in the opening of the unit's pressure control valve. The opening of this valve allowed emissions to be sent to the Coker Flare thus allow several compound to be released into the air.

Followup: Yes

Notes: after immediate response the problem was troubleshooted. In the end, the high level increase in the overhead accumulator of the Coke Incinerator was corrected and operations returned to normal conditions
115703

2009-06-16
incinerator stack in sulfur plant
Cause: there was an air trip transmitter failure that caused the Sulfur-3 unit to trip online unexpectedly. Due to this online trip, a release of sulfur dioxide (SO2) into the air occurred from both the S-3 and S-2 tail gas incinerators .

Followup: Yes

Notes: The sulfur gas was diverted from the S-3 unit to the S-2 unit. The transmitter was repaired by maintenance so that the S-3 unit could become fully operational. it was noted that material went offsite as the sulfur material was released into the air
115263

2009-05-27
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

Followup: No

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.
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.
2,989.5 pounds
127976

2010-12-03
FLARE: S-2 & S-3 Sulfur units; Coker flare (FE-401), Shell Go-1 & OL-5 Flares
FLARE:Shell Go-1 & OL-5 Flares
Cause: Motiva's S-2 and S-3 sulfur plants tripped offline while analyzer FI-3677 was being calibrated. During analyzer calibration, air flow was reduced, initiating shutdown of S-2. Acid gas was diverted through to S-3 and pushed into gas knock out drum resulting in shut down of S-3. Acid gas was routed to Coker Flare and Shell's Go-1 flare. Shared incident with SHELL CHEMICAL LP. Emissions included flaring from both facilities.

Followup: Yes

Notes: RQ. Sulfur plants were restarted, operating procedures for safely calibrating instruments will be developed and included in operations training program, training conducted for personnel. Calculations provided confirm that the reportable quantity for sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter was exceeded.
28,215.0 pounds
127866

2010-11-27
FLARE: West Ops Ground Flare [EPN 9-84]
Cause: Refinery letter states that "Shell Chemical's GO-1 Process unit experienced an upset when the feed to the unit furnaces was unexpectantly shut off. This process led to flaring at the Motiva's West Operations Ground Flare." SHARED INCIDENT WITH SHELL CHEMICAL PLANT. Separate report will be filed for Shell LP Norco Chemical Plant-East Site will be submitted. FLARE.

Followup: Yes

Notes: BRQ. Follow-up reports states that no reportable quantities or permit limits were exceeded. No Information Given regarding remedial actions. Refinery letter states that this information will be included in the Shell Chemical incident report.
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.
855.6 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.
24,842.3 pounds
126309

2010-09-12
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.

Followup: No

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.
125532

2010-08-09
FLARE: HCU elevated flare (EPN 4-84)
Cause: The HCU elevated flare (EPN 4-84) released Benzene, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, toluene, and VOC due to a faulty regulator and an orifice tee which was incorrectly installed by the manufacturer and also a faulty nitrogen regulator supplying the system. SECONDARY CAUSE: noted as equipment failure. FLARE.

Followup: No

Notes: RQ. Refinery later states that reportable quantities were exceeded for benzene. Both the relief valve and the nitrogen regulator were removed from service and repaired. When repaired, they were reinstalled and returned to service.
124892

2010-07-16
FLARE: Hydrocracker Unit - relief valve
Cause: Report states that a relief valve on the hydrocracker unit failed causing the release. Valve was found to be improperly assembled by the manufacturer...

Followup: No

Notes: BRQ. Report states that "the valve was repaired on site by Motiva technicians and put back in service. No reportable quantities were exceeded as a result of this release."
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."
91.8 pounds
124129

2010-06-11
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.

Followup: No

Notes: BRQ. Reduced feed and troubleshooted issues related to loss of vacuum. Air monitoring was conducted and "all parameters were non-detectable."
123043

2010-04-25
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.

Followup: No

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.
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.
35,210.0 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.
241.0 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.
8,325.1 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.
91.2 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.
29,547.2 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.
11.9 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".
6.9 pounds
133571

2011-08-26
S-3 Tail Gas Incinerator (EPN 2-90)
Cause: On August 26, 2011 at approximately 1005, a release of sulfur dioxide (SO2) occurred at Motiva's Sulfur Plant No. 3 (S-3) Tail Gas Incinerator (EPN 2-90). The event was triggered while unit operators were making moves to send acid gas from S2 to S3.

Followup: No

Notes: No information given.
370.0 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.
29.0 pounds
132917

2011-08-05
GO-1 Process Unit to West Ops Ground Flare (EPN 9-84)
Cause: The GO-1 Process Unit experienced a unit upset due to the over-pressuring of a column. This process upset led to flaring at Motiva's West Operations Ground Flare.

Followup: No

Notes: There were no remedial actions listed in the report.
132873

2011-08-03
Cat Cracker
Cause: While restarting the cat cracker until, materials flared

Followup:

Notes: No refinery letter.
130936

2011-04-15
FLare: FCCU
FLARE: TGTU-4
Cause: The incident began at Motiva's Convent Refinery on April 15, 2011 at approximately 16:22, when the refinery's Boiler No. 4 shutdown due to an internal tube failure. With the loss of the boiler, the refinery transitioned to steam curtailment and several units were forced to reduce charge rates. As units were being reduced, the excess fuel gas not being utilized was routed to the refinery flare gas system (specifically, Refinery Flares No. 1 and No. 2). The opacity limit was exceeded due to the lack of steam available in the refinery to affectively control the smoke while flaring the excess fuel gas. Also during the transition, the FCCU experienced an upset which caused hydrocarbon to under carry from the high pressure fuel gas knock out drum into the amine acid gas header. As the amine acid gas (and the entrained hydrocarbon carried under from the FCCU) was combusted in the TGTU-4 incinerator, the SO2 and opacity released through the stack was apparently above the permitted limits. The excess emissions ceased when the FCCU stabilized.

Followup: No

Notes: The excess emissions ceased when the FCCU stabilized. No additional information. NOLDEQ or SPOC letter included. Emergency Condition.
500.0 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.
1,152.1 pounds
129562

2011-03-01
Coker Flare (EPN 2-84)
Cause: On March 1, 2011, at approximately 1003 hours, Motiva operations initiated a shutdown of the Coker process unit due to a bearing failure on the Coker Inner Stage Cooling Fans (B-2369 & B-2370). This shutdown resulted in flaring at the Coker Elevated Flare (EPN2-84). The unit was safely shut down in a controlled manner utilizing all operational and safety procedures. Additionally, dry gas vent samples were taken prior to shutting down the Coker Wet Gas Compressor (K-2178) to confirm that minimal emissions were sent to the Coker Flare (EPN2-84).

Followup: Yes

Notes: The unit was safely shut down in a controlled manner utilizing all operational and safety procedures. No additional information.
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.
149.7 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.
33,102.0 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.
1,369.0 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.
2.1 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.
25.8 pounds
152813

2013-12-12
S3 Incinerator (EPN 2-90)
Cause: ON December 11, 2013, the hydrogen sulfide analyzer at Motiva's S3 Incinerator exceeded the NSPS Subpart J hydrogen sulfide twelve-hour rolling average of 250 ppm. Investigation findings suggest that on December 11, 2013 iron sulfide in the S3 sulfur pit was exposed to oxygen, resulting in pyrophoric iron oxidation that ignited a small smoldering fire in the vapor space of the S3 sulfur pit. The small fire generated sulfur dioxide that was pulled into the stack of the incinerator via the vapor line. The fire was extinguished when the steam to the eductor was reduced on December 14, 2013 at 1701 hours.

Followup: Yes

Notes: As a corrective action, Motive will monitor the sulfur dioxide analyzer and unit operation in order to troubleshoot any potential issues. Also during this same time, Motiva's RCCU Elevated Flare was experiencing elevated Hydrogen Sulfide concentrations from hydrocarbon flaring. The RCCU hydrocarbon flaring is the subject of a final follow-up letter issued February 3, 2014. Note: The contemporaneous incident with RCCU flaring is LDEQ incident 152855, the 60-day report of which does not claim there is a causal connection.
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.
835.4 pounds
150814

2013-09-03
4-84 Hydrocracker Flare (FE-301)
Cause: On September 3, 2013, the first and second stages of Motiva's Hydrocracker Unit (HCU) shut down. The shutdown was caused by an instrumentation failure that controlled the lube/seal oil system for the HCU recycle compressors. On September 6, 2013, the Hydrocracker unit began startup operations.

Followup:

Notes: Immediately after the unit was shut down and secured, maintenance and engineering immediately investigated and identified the instrumentation failure. The instrumentation and engineering groups are developing an inspection list for the next planned unit shutdown to look for deficiencies in the unit instrument systems. No reportable quantities were exceeded; however the permitted maximum hourly emission rate limit was exceeded for Benzene and Sulfur Dioixide.
252.8 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.
1.1 pounds
146188

2013-01-19
S3 Incinerator (EPN 2-90)
Cause: On January 19, 2013, Motiva's Sulfur Plant No. 2 (S2) experienced an unexpected lube oil piping leak on a turbine driven main air blower causing the process unit to trip offline. At this time, all of the acid gas that S2 was processing was routed to Motiva's Sulfur Plant No. 3 (S3). Subsequently, the acid gas header at S3 surged sending an additional flow of tail gas through the unit to the S3 absorber. The S3 absorber was not able to adequately treat the sudden increase in flow at this time, and sulfur dioxide was released through the S3 incinerator exceeding the maximum pound per hour permit limit. Motiva has determined that the root cause of the piping leak on the main air blower lube oil system at S2 was due to a fatigue of a threaded connection that contributed to the fatigue condition, and this will serve as a final repair of the leak.

Followup: No

Notes: Operations responded immediately to the incident by starting an electric blower at S2, to safely restart the process unit and recover the additional acid gas set to S3. Once the acid gas was routed back to S2 utilizing the electric blower, the release stopped. Operations also tripped the Sour water stripper column to reduce feed flow to S3 and help reduce incinerator SO2 emissions. There were no reportable quantities exceeded during the release. However, the maximum pound per hour permit limit for sulfur dioxide was exceeded.
80.1 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.
30,043.3 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.
7.8 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.
196.5 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.
119.2 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.
34.0 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.
355.2 pounds
153610

2014-01-29
Air control transmitter at Sulfur Plant #3
Air control transmitter at Sulfur Plant #3, Incinerator at Sulfur Plant 3, Incinerator at Sulfur Plant #2
Cause: Main air control transmitter at S3 failed resulting in the plugging of the units quench system. Due to the quench system plugging and the quench system not being able to work as designed, Sulfur Dioxide traveled directly to the incinerator at S3. The Acid gas that was normally sent to S3 was diverted to S2. Due to the rapid swap of gas from S3 to S2, the water in the waste heat boiler at S2 tripped. With both sulfur plants having issues, the pressure in the acid gas header was abnormally high. Consequently the acid gas backed into the SCOT stripper column at S2 and overwhelmed the system causing gas to travel to the incinerator at S2. Additionally the issues at the sulfur plants lead to gas flaring at the OL5 Elevated flare. (subject of another report by Shell)

Followup: No

Notes: Data gathering to perform calculations and investigations are ongoing.
153178

2014-01-06
1300# steam system at Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit
Cause: "Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit's Elevated Flare as a result of a swing in the steam system." "Motiva's RCCU unit flared processed gas due to a swing in the 1300# steam system"

Followup: No

Notes: The report filed on 1/13/14 indicated that Shell will release an updated report within 60 days as of 9/5/14 the report has yet to be made.