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Shell Chemical East (26336), Norco

Releases of Carbon Monoxide

LDEQ Accident Number
Accident Date
Point Source(s) Notes Amount of Release
97746

2007-07-10
OL-5 Flare (EPN #6-84)
Cause: Instrument problems at DHT (diesel hydrotreater) Process Unit caused a vent gas compressor to trip, resulted in flaring at Shell Chemical's OL-5 elevated flare.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Upon discovery, Motiva operations secured the DHT unit and shutdown the unit. Motiva's long-term plan to prevent recurrence is to install plug connectors on the unused pins of the DeltaV backplans. The plug connectors will be installed once the manufacturer provides suitable plugs that have been tested to allow problem-free installation and as control systems can be powered down during planned unit shutdowns to allow the installations of the plugs.
10.5 pounds
145352

2012-12-13
OL-5 Elevated Flare (EPN 6-84)
Cause: Shell Chemical's OL-5 Process Unit experienced an unexpected unit upset which led to flaring at the OL-5 Elevated Flare. This process upset was caused by the production of off specification debutanizer overhead product. The off specification debutanizer overhead product was caused by temperature control issues while OL-5 operations was in the process of swapping heat exchangers.

Followup: No

Notes: OL-5 Operations left both exchangers in service to regain temperature control and recover from the unit upset and stop the flaring. OL-5 Operations will return to single exchanger operation as soon as practical and clean the fouled exchanger. The cause of the exchanger fouling is attributred o the breaking off of polymer produced in the process. The polymer was believed to have been broken off and moved into the exchanger causing it to be fouled during a recent, unexpected process upset. A further investigation into the cause of this incident will be conducted and any preventative actions discovered will be implemented.
378.1 pounds
145179

2012-12-06
WOGF, GO-1 EF
Cause: On December 6, 2012, Shell Chemical's GO-1 flared at the GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90). The flaring was a result of an unexpected loss of power due to the trip of an Entergy breaker supplying the GO-1 unit. The GO-1 Unit trip caused a release to the atmosphere from the GO-1 Propylene Splitter Column.

Followup: Yes

Notes: GO-1 operations took the necessary steps to minimize flaring and safely return the unit to normal operating conditions and the flaring stopped. Data gathering to perform calculations and investigation are ongoing. Shell provided an amended final follow up notification on June 27, 2013. Reportable quantities for VOCs were exceeded. On December 9, 2012 the reportable quantities for Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen Oxide, Particulate Matter, and 1,3-Butadiene were exceeded. On December 8, 2012 reportable quantities for particulate matter were exceeded. On a report dated June 27, 2013, the emissions of propylene and propane were amended.
88,833.9 pounds
145085

2012-12-02
OL-5 Elevated Flare (EPN 6-84)
Cause: On December 2, 2012, Shell Chemical's OL-5 Process Unit experienced an unexpected leak of the Core Exchanger, which led to flaring at the OL-5 Elevated Flare to isolate the leaking exchanger, repair, and return it to service. The release began on December 2, 2012 at 6:15 AM and ended on December 6, 2012 at 11:55 PM. Repairs were made to the core exchanger and the unit was safely returned to normal operations conditions.

Followup: Yes

Notes: The unit was secured and adjustments made to minimize flaring. Preparations were begun to complete repairs to the core exchanger. The flaring was stopped once the repairs were completed and the OL-5 process unit was safely restored to normal conditions. To prevent recurrence, maintenance practices were reviewed and improvements were made. Entire PDF report was not able to be uploaded. Contact LABB for the full report.
176,542.9 pounds
143196

2012-09-23
GO-1 Elevated Flare FE-602 (EPN 1-90)
Cause: On September 24, 2012 Shell Chemical's GO-1 flared at the GO-1 Elevated Flare. Untreated RCCU dry gas was flared while isolating PV-1013, the RCCU dry gas knock out pot, where piping located at the bottom of the vessel was leaking. Equipment isolation was performed to allow access to the leaking line. Further investigation showed that the leak was due to corrosion under the insulation. The flaring at the GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90) caused a release of hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide also leaked from the bottom of PV-1013, the RCCU dry gas knock out pot, and flaring occurred while isolating PV-1013

Followup: Yes

Notes: Once access was provided, the line was blinded to stop the leak of untreated RCCU dry gas to the atmosphere. GO-1 operations personnel took the necessary steps to minimize flaring and eventually stop flaring, safely returning the unit to normal operating conditions. Once the unit was stabilized, untreated RCCU dry gas was routed into the fuel system and out of the flare. The leak was due to corrosion under insulation. The CUI inspection department will review service of the line and determine future inspection requirements for inspection cycle. The facility exceeded reportable quantities for sulfur dioxide (13908.15 lbs) and highly reactive volatile organic compounds (ethylene and propylene)[350 lbs]. They also exceeded permit limits for sulfur dioxide and hexane. SPOC report states material did go offsite.
3,001.1 pounds
142287

2012-08-21
GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90)
Cause: Flaring from the GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90) was a result of an unexpected shutdown of the propylene refrigerant compressor.

Followup: No

Notes: GO-1 operations took the necessary steps to minimize flaring and safely return the unit to normal operating conditions and the flaring stopped. Investigation and data gathering confirm that no RQ or maximum permitted limits were exceeded.
142207

2012-08-18
GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90)
GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90); Motiva West Operations Ground Flare (EPN 9-84)
Cause: On August 18, 2012 Shell Chemical's GO-1 flared at the GO-1 Elevated Flare. The flaring was a result of an unexpected shutdown of the dry gas compressor. On August 18, 2012 Shell Chemical's GO-1 experienced a unit upset which led to flaring at Motiva's West Operations Ground Flare (EPN 9-84).

Followup: Yes

Notes: GO-1 operations took the necessary steps to minimize flaring and safely return the unit to normal operating conditions and the flaring stopped. Troubleshooting of the compressor was done to determine if the compressor could be safely restarted. The compressor was returned to normal operating conditions. A determination of why the compressor shutdown was inconclusive. Repairs were made to the compressor by Shell Chemical to allow for the compressor to be restarted and flaring stopped. Due to flaring at the GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90), Shell Chemical East exceeded its reportable quantity for sulfur dioxide and its maximum permitted limits for carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, particulate matter (reported as smoking), sulfur dioxide, and hexane. The GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90) flared for 0 minutes. Due to flaring at the Motiva's West Operations Ground Flare (EPN 9-84), Motiva exceeded the maximum permitted limit for hexane. They did not exceeded any reportable quantities. They also released carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, particulate matter (reported as smoking), sulfur dioxide, and volatile organic compounds.
1,365.9 pounds
140766

2012-06-23
GO-1 Pressure Relief Device
West Ops Ground Flare (EPN 9-84); GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90)
Cause: On June 23, 2012 Shell Chemical's GO-1 flared at the GO-1 Elevated Flare. The flaring was a result of an upset when the Propylene Refrigerant Compressor kickbacks started swinging and affecting the rest of the process unit. The swings became uncontrollable and the cold-side of GO-1 was shutdown to get the propylene refrigerant compressor and the ethylene refrigerant compressor under control. GO-1 flared process gas off the Process Gas Compressor 4th stage discharge and light fractionation columns, dry gas off the dry gas compressor discharge, and propylene and ethylene off the refrigeration compressors. On June 23, 2012 Shell Chemical's GO-1 experienced a unit upset which led to flaring at Motiva's West Operations Ground Flare (EPN 9-84). The flaring was a result of a unit upset that caused a cold-side shutdown of the GO-1 Process Unit.

Followup: No

Notes: The report was submitted more than seven days after the incident and verbal notification. GO-1 operations took the necessary steps to minimize flaring and safely return the unit to normal operating conditions and the flaring stopped. During this incident a pressure device opened to lower process pressure, releasing ethylene to the atmosphere. GO-1 operations took the necessary steps to safely return the unit to normal operating conditions and the flaring stopped. The pressure relief device closed once the pressure was lowered below the set-point. GO-1 Operations completed a Management of Change to reset the parameters in the compressor surge control system for the propylene refrigerant compressor to allow for the compressor to be restarted and prevent a reoccurrence of another similar incident. Motiva did not exceed any reportable quantities or maximum permitted limits. Shell Chemical - East exceeded its reportable quantity for highly reactive volatile organic compounds (ethylene) which was released from the a pressure relief device on GO-1 operations. It also exceeded its maximum permitted limits for 1,3 butadiene and hexane. It flared for 1 day and 21 hours (45 hours). Although Shell Chemical - East has stated that no reportable quantities were exceeded from flaring, some chemicals, such as benzene (RQ: 10 lbs) and sulfur dioxide (RQ: 500 lbs), etc. , exceeded their reportable quantities. The release of particulate matter from both flares was reported as smoking.
107,188.4 pounds
140715

2012-06-22

Motiva West Operations Ground Flare (EPN 9-84); GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90)
Cause: On June 22, 2012 Shell Chemical's GO-1 flared at the GO-1 Elevated Flare. The flaring was a result of a malfunction in the computer control system. On June 22, 2012 Shell Chemical's GO-1 experienced a unit upset which led to flaring at Motiva's West Operations Elevated Flare (EPN 9-84). The flaring was a result of a malfunction in the computer control system.

Followup: No

Notes: GO-1 operations took the necessary steps to safely return the unit to normal operating conditions and the flaring stopped. The follow-up later was sent more than 7 days after the incident occurred. Maintenance worked with the manufacturer of the DCS and discovered there was an issue with a card in the system. Upon filing the cards memory, a dumping of memory and resetting of the card occurs. This process led to the unexpected shutdown of equipment and the upset in the GO-1. The manufacturer had identified the problem with these cards, but no action to correct the issue had occurred. Maintenance has replaced the card with the issue in order to prevent a reoccurrence of this incident. Motiva did not exceed any reportable quantities or maximum permitted limits during this event. Shell Chemical East did not exceed any reportable quantities, but they did exceed their maximum permitted limits for carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds. The pollutant totals were determined by adding together the releases from both Shell Chemical LP - East, GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90) and Motiva West Ops Elevated Flare (EPN 9-84) together.
10,200.8 pounds
137810

2012-03-12
OL-5 Elevated Flare FE-101 (EPN 6-84); OL-5 Ground Flare FG-101 (EPN 7-84)
Cause: On March 12, 2012 Shell Chemical's OL-5 Unit Operators got an indication that the Process Gas Compressor (PGC) first stage control valve had opened to the flare system due to high suction pressure. The PGC turbine had slowed down causing the kickback valves to open. Slowdown of the turbine was caused by a high level in the surface condenser. The materials were released from OL-5 Elevated Flare FE-101 (EPN 6-84) and OL-5 Ground Flare FG-101 (EPN 7-84).

Followup: No

Notes: OL-5 Operations lowered the surface condenser level and the kickback flows to lower the first stage suction pressure. These actions stopped the flaring. All materials routed to flare were combusted with an approximate destruction efficiency of 99.5% released from the OL-5 Elevated Flare and Ol-5 Ground Flare to the atmosphere and dispersed naturally. Maintenance was called in to troubleshoot the surface condenser level indication. Instrument mechanics checked level controller and found dirt on the flapper nozzle. The nozzle was cleaned and proper operation of the control valve was checked. Instrument mechanics also found the door to the instrument center in the open position, which possibly allowed dirt into the enclosure. Operational rounds have been updated to include the task to check enclosure doors. Propylene is listed in the LDEQ's Verbal report as having been released as well, but there is no mention of it later on in the follow-up report from Shell. The measurements were obtained by adding the same pollutants from both flares together. Initial report states material did go offsite. Air was monitored around the perimeter of the facility. No reportable quantities were exceeded, but permit levels were exceeded for ethylbenzene, toluene, and xylene.
523.5 pounds
152921

2013-12-19
GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90)
Cause: On December 19, 2013, GO-1 had an unexpected process upset which resulted in flaring at the GO-1 Elevated Flare. The flaring was a result of a swing on the cold site of GO-1, which resulted in an upset at the propylene re-compressor. Ending date above is the reported anticipated end date, assuming troubleshooting efforts continue as planned.

Followup: No

Notes: Operations is currently stabilizing the unit and minimizing the flaring. Data gathering to perform calculations and investigation are ongoing. Shell will provide an update within 60 days.
No information on re
152916

2013-12-18
OL-5 Ground (EPN 7-84) and Elevated (EPN 6-84)
Cause: On December 18, 2013, Shell Chemical's OL-5 Unit shut down to complete scheduled maintenance. While walking out the unit, a pressure equipment inspector found a section of piping that was experiencing corrosion under insulation. After further investigation, a plan was devised to shut down the unit in order to repair this thinned section of piping and prevent additional unit upset conditions. Flaring to OL-5 Ground Flare (EPN 7-84) and OL-5 Elevated Flare (EPN 6-84) resulted from a unit shutdown to complete planned maintenance on a section of piping downstream of the ethylene refrigerant compressor experiencing corrosion.

Followup: Yes

Notes: To minimize additional unit upset conditions and impacts, the OL5 unit was shutdown and the thin wall piping was repaired. A review of the corrosion under insulation will be performed to identify improvements which can be made to prevent future re-occurrences.
50,885.5 pounds
152800

2013-12-10
OL-5 Ground Flare (EPN 7-84) and Elevated Flare (EPN 6-84)
Cause: On December 10, 2013, OL-5 operations experienced high acetylene content in the process. The material was flared to prevent further upsets which may have resulted in an even greater amount of flaring. OL-5 made adjustments to return the acetylene content back to specification. The OL-5 converter hydrogen appears to have been slipping a small amount of flow through a closed control valve into the hydrogen line supplying the acetylene converters causing the off specification production.

Followup: No

Notes: OL-5 is making changes in process guidelines to prevent recurrence. Shell Chemical confirmed that no reportable quantities were exceeded, however the maximum lbs/hr limit was exceeded for particulate matter.
588.8 pounds
152612

2013-11-28
OL-5 Elevated Flare (EPN 6-84) & Ground Flare (7-84
OL-5 Elevated Flare (EPN 6-84) & Ground Flare (7-84)
Cause: On November 28, 2013, OL-5 operations experienced a false high flow reading on a flow controller that resulted in high pressure in the diethanolamine stripper overhead. The high pressure caused a backup pressure controller to open the OL-5 Elevated Flare and OL-5 Ground Flare.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Upon investigation, it was discovered that the false high flow was the result of the plugging of one of the two transmitter taps. OL-5 operations and maintenance personnel cleared a plug from the transmitter taps of the flow controller, and the flow reading returned to normal operating conditions. The OL-5 Process Unit was safely returned to normal operation conditions, and the flaring stopped. Follow up report states that "additional measures to prevent reoccurrence have not been identified".
1.6 pounds
152570

2013-11-24
level control valve
level control valve in the de-methanizer system
Cause: On November 24, 2013, Shell Chemical's OL-5 operations discovered a packing leak on a level control valve in the de-methanizer system of the OL-5 Process Unit.

Followup: No

Notes: Operations took immediate action to mitigate the leak and have repairs made to the valve.
152357

2013-11-13
GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90)
Cause: On November 13, 2013, GO-1 had an unexpected process upset which resulted in flaring at the GO-1 Elevated Flare. The flaring was a result of the GO-1 South Acetylene Converter going off specification due to contaminants in the hydrogen supply to the converter due to a valve misalignment at Motiva's S3 Sulfur Unit. The material was flared at the GO-1 Elevated Flare to prevent additional upsets in GO-1. Incident Investigation is ongoing. Shell will provide an update within 60 days. Report states that no reportable quantities were exceeded.

Followup: Yes

Notes: GO-1 operations took corrective actions to return the acetylene converters to normal operation. GO-1 added steam and hydrogen to both converters. A pressure control valve for import hydrogen was put in manual to correct variations in the flow to the converters. The PSA hydrogen was stopped to the converters as part of initial troubleshooting, but was later lined up after the valve misalignment was discovered and corrected. Once the acetylene converters were returned to normal operating conditions the flaring stopped. To prevent this incident from reoccurring, the operations specialist at S3 has updated piping and instrument drawings to clarify the location of the S3 hydrogen and nitrogen valves in the field. Also the operations specialist at S3 has car sealed close the hydrogen valve from S3 to GO1.
1,992.0 pounds
152132

2013-11-03
OL-5 Ground Flare (EPN 7-84) and OL-5 Elevated Flare (EPN 6-84)
OL-5 Ground Flare and Elevated Flare
Cause: On November 3, 2013, OL-5 had an unexpected process upset which resulted in flaring at the OL-5 Ground Flare (EPN 7-84) and OL-5 Elevated Flare (EPN 6-84). The flaring resulted from OL-5 taking a stream into the unit from OP-1 which caused the Acetylene Converter to go off specification. The material was flared at the OL-5 Ground Flare and OL-5 Elevated Flare to prevent additional upsets in OL-5.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Once OL-5 Operations was aware that the acetylene content increased above specification in the outlet of the acetylene converters, OL-5 Operations followed normal procedure and diverted the acetylene converter effluent to the OL-5 flare system until the Acetylene converter effluent was back in specification. The material was flared to prevent additional upsets in the unit. OL-5 operations immediately stopped the OP-1 de-ethanizer tops flow into the unit and ethylene product flow to the pipeline. The ethylene splitter received some of the high acetylene process gas exiting the acetylene converters. The ethylene splitter overhead and the liquid in the ethylene splitter reflux drum were sent to the flare until the column was also back on specification. Once the ethylene product stream was back on specification, the ethylene product leaving the ethylene splitter was returned to the pipeline and the flaring stopped. Report states that all released materials were dispersed naturally in the atmosphere from the OL-5 Ground and OL-5 Elevated flare stacks. Currently, an investigation is occurring. The results from this investigation will be incorporated, where applicable, into the standard work processes at the OL-5 Unit to prevent recurrence. Shell Chemical confirmed that the reportable quantity for Highly Reactive Organic Compounds was exceeded. The maximum permitted limits were exceeded for carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds.
5,713.0 pounds
152124

2013-11-02
GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90)
Cause: On November 2, 2013, GO-1 had an unexpected process upset which resulted in flaring at the GO-1 Elevated Flare. The flaring resulted from GO-1 taking a stream into the unit from OP-1 which caused the Acetylene Converter to go off specification. The material was flared at the GO-1 Elevated flare to prevent additional upsets in GO-1. Following the investigation and calculations, Shell Chemical confirmed that no reportable quantities or Maximum Permitted Limits were exceeded.

Followup: Yes

Notes:
919.5 pounds
151584

2013-10-11
OL-5 Ground and Elevated Flares
Cause: On October 11, 2013, Shell Chemical's OL-5 Process Unit experienced an unexpected power failure which resulted in the shutdown of several pumps in the OL-5 Process Unit leading to a process upset and flaring at the OL-5 Ground Flare and OL-5 Elevated Flare. Several breakers in the main central control room were lost. The transformer that supplies power to these breakers tripped unexpectedly. This resulted in the shutdown of several pumps in the OL-5 Process Unit. Most of the pumps that shutdown had back-up spare pumps available and the spare pumps either automatically started or operations manually started them. The ethylene product pump did not have a back-up spare pump available. OL-5 was unable to send ethylene product to the downstream pipeline. This resulted in an inability to remove ethylene product from OL-5's C2 Splitter column and the pressure of the C2 Splitter increased. Elevated pressure in the C2 Splitter column was controlled by relieving to the OL-5 Ground Flare and OL-5 Elevated Flare.

Followup: Yes

Notes: To minimize impacts, spared pumps automatically started and operations started spare pumps manually that do not auto start. After securing and stabilizing the unit, OL-5 operations contacted electrical engineering and maintenance to repair the tripped transformer. On the evening of October 11, 2013, repairs to the transformer were completed, the transformer was placed back in service and flaring stopped. It has been determined that there are not any measures that could be taken to prevent the recurrence of this incident or a similar incident. Report states that all released materials were dispersed naturally in the atmosphere from the OL5 Ground and OL5 Elevated flare stacks. Shell Chemical confirmed that reportable quantity for Highly Reactive Organic Compounds (ethylene and propylene) was exceeded. The maximum permitted limits were exceeded for carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds.
5,873.6 pounds
150876

2013-09-08
OL5 Elevated Flare (EPN 6-84) and Ground Flare (EPN 7-84)
Cause: On the night of September 8, 2013, Shell Chemical's OL-5 Unit experienced plugging of their online recycle filter located on the bottom of the pyrolysis fractionator (pyrofrac). Once plugged, the level at the bottom of the pyrofrac increased resulting in the level of the quench drum to decrease. This resulted in diversion of feed from several furnaces at OL-5. While stabilizing the OL-5 process unit, operations personnel experienced an upset in the process streams that resulted in flaring at the OL-5 Elevated Flare and OL-5 ground flare.

Followup: Yes

Notes: To minimize impacts, OL-5 operations made various process adjustments, while taking the furnaces off line. These adjustments stabilized the unit and reduced, eventually eliminating, the flaring. These adjustments also prevented the unit from shutting down. To prevent future occurrences, additional filters will be installed to create a robust filtering system. Report states that all released materials were dispersed naturally in the atmosphere from the OL5 Ground and OL5 Elevated flare stacks. Initial report stated that no reportable quantities were exceeded. Following the investigation and calculations, Shell Chemical confirmed they exceeded the reportable quantity for highly reactive volatile organic compounds.
8,094.0 pounds
150789

2013-08-31
7-84 (OL-5 Ground Flare, 6-84 (OL-5 Elevated Flare, FE-101)
Cause: On the morning of August 31, 2013, Shell Chemical's OL-5 Process Unit experienced a higher than normal level of carbon monoxide (CO) in the furnace feed. The additional unexpected CO in the feed came from Enterprise, a supplier of feed to OL-5, and as a result of recent decoking activities. The higher level of CO was initially consumed by the Product Hydrogen and Converter Hydrogen Methanators, however, this did not resolve the issue. Without taking action, continued high levels of CO would have led to the ethylene product going off specification which in turn would have led to substantial additional flaring. Therefore, as per normal operating procedures, OL-5 opearations began routing the high AC converter stream to the flare to lower the CO levels in the process in an effort to prevent a further, more severe, upset in the OL-5 Process Unit. Once the AC converter effluent was within specifications, it was routed back to normal operation.

Followup: Yes

Notes: To minimize impacts, OL-5 operations adjusted unit operations in order to consume the excess CO in the Product Hydrogen and Converter Methanators. Once the Product Hydrogen and Converter Hydrogen Methantators became overwhelmed, OL-5 operations immediately diverted the AC converter effluent to the OL-5 flare system. Operations then used a different source of hydrogen that did not contain elevated carbon monoxide. Once the AC converter effluent was within specifications OL-5 operations positioned the stream back to its normal routing, eliminating flaring. An investigation is occurring. The results will be incorporated, where applicable, into the standard work processes at the OL-5 unit to prevent recurrence. Shell Chemical confirmed that reportable quantities for carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and High Volatile Organic Compounds were exceeded. In addition, the maximum permitted limits were exceeded for carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds at the OL-5 elevated flare. Shell admitted that Carbon Monoxide exceeded RQ for August 31, but not Sept 1. Carbon Monoxide exceeded RQ on both dates. Similarly, VOCS exceeded RQ for both Aug 31 and Sept 1, but was only reported as exceeding for the first. VOCs are mislabeled as HRVOCs (highly reactive VOCs).
14,697.4 pounds
149323

2013-06-20
EPN 1-90 GO-1 Elevated Flare FE-602
GO-1 Elevated Flare
Cause: On June 20, an upset in the Shell Chemical's GO-1 unit caused by the AC Converter high temperatures due to unforeseen low hydrogen purity from the Pressure Swing Absorber which was started up and placed in service following the GO-1 South turnaround. The unforeseen low hydrogen purity prompted operations to divert feed to the elevated flare to prevent an off specification incident with ethylene production. This resulted in flaring at the GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90).

Followup: No

Notes: GO-1 operations took the necessary steps to minimize flaring, restart the PSA and safely return the unit to normal operating conditions. The PSA was isolated from the header and remained isolated until lab samples indicated on specification hydrogen. To prevent recurrence, operations will incorporate additional guidance and operational measures into the PSA start up procedures to proactively identify unforeseen low hydrogen purity. The procedure will be updated with steps to ensure on specification hydrogen prior to introducing into the header. Shell claims no reportable quantities were exceeded, but CO and NOx emissions exceed lb/hr permit limits.
1,204.3 pounds
148877

2013-05-23
West Operations Elevated Flare (EPN 5-84)
Cause: On May 23, an upset in the Shell Chemical's OP-1 process unit led to flaring at the West Operations Elevated Flare (EPN 5-84). The flaring was due to a high level in the Ethylene Refrigeration Compressor causing the compressor to shut down unexpectedly.

Followup: No

Notes: OP-1 operations took the necessary steps to minimize flaring, restart the compressor and safely return the unit to normal operation conditions. Operation's support will provide additional guidance and operational measures to be more effective in controlling levels and restoring normal operations after a compressor shutdown. States that no reportable quantities were exceeded, but the maximum permit limits for carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, particulate matter, and VOCs were exceeded.
62.6 pounds
148901

2013-05-16
West Ops Elevated Flare
Cause: On May 17,a release of carbon monoxide, ethane, and methane occurred due to flaring from a GO-1 unit upset caused by a De-methanizer shutdown. Unit feed composition caused unanticipated low temperature issues leading to a unit shutdown.

Followup: No

Notes: GO-1 operations took the necessary steps to safely return the unit to normal operating conditions and minimize flaring. Procedures will be updated to provide guidance and operational measures to restore normal operations after a unit shutdown.
36,792.2 pounds
148703

2013-05-10
1-90 (GO-1 Elevated Flare, FE-602)
5-84 (West Ops Elevated Flare, FE-601)
8-84 RCCU Elevated Flare (FE-201)
Cause: On May 10, Motiva's Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit (RCCU) discovered a catalyst leak in the unit's second cyclone dip leg. Operations responded immediately and worked to isolate this section of the unit. However, due to the location of the leak it was determined the line could not be isolated without diverting the RCCU process unit to hot circulation. The diverting process required flaring at the GO-1 Elevated flare (EPN 1-90) and West Ops Ground Flare (EPN 9-84). Additional flaring occurred at the Motiva RCCU Elevated Flare (EPN 8-84). Emissions from that flare should be addressed in a separate letter from Motiva. The reintroduction of Motiva's RCCU untreated dry gas resulted in the shell GO-1 unit flaring to the West Ops Elevated Flare.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Once system was secured, Motiva's maintenance personnel began repairs at the catalyst leak point. By May 12, the repairs on the system were completed and the system was returned to service. The diversion and reintroduction of RCCU Untreated Dry Gas caused the Shell GO-1 unit to flare to the GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90) until unit specifications were met. This flaring exceeded reportable quantities.
8,987.4 pounds
148703

2013-05-10
1-90 (GO-1 Elevated Flare, FE-602)
5-84 (West Ops Elevated Flare, FE-601)
8-84 RCCU Elevated Flare (FE-201)
Cause: On May 10, Motiva's Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit (RCCU) discovered a catalyst leak in the unit's second cyclone dip leg. Operations responded immediately and worked to isolate this section of the unit. However, due to the location of the leak it was determined the line could not be isolated without diverting the RCCU process unit to hot circulation. The diverting process required flaring at the GO-1 Elevated flare (EPN 1-90) and West Ops Ground Flare (EPN 9-84). Additional flaring occurred at the Motiva RCCU Elevated Flare (EPN 8-84). Emissions from that flare should be addressed in a separate letter from Motiva. The reintroduction of Motiva's RCCU untreated dry gas resulted in the shell GO-1 unit flaring to the West Ops Elevated Flare.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Once system was secured, Motiva's maintenance personnel began repairs at the catalyst leak point. By May 12, the repairs on the system were completed and the system was returned to service. The diversion and reintroduction of RCCU Untreated Dry Gas caused the Shell GO-1 unit to flare to the GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90) until unit specifications were met. This flaring exceeded reportable quantities.
31.8 pounds
148703

2013-05-10
1-90 (GO-1 Elevated Flare, FE-602)
5-84 (West Ops Elevated Flare, FE-601)
8-84 RCCU Elevated Flare (FE-201)
Cause: On May 10, Motiva's Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit (RCCU) discovered a catalyst leak in the unit's second cyclone dip leg. Operations responded immediately and worked to isolate this section of the unit. However, due to the location of the leak it was determined the line could not be isolated without diverting the RCCU process unit to hot circulation. The diverting process required flaring at the GO-1 Elevated flare (EPN 1-90) and West Ops Ground Flare (EPN 9-84). Additional flaring occurred at the Motiva RCCU Elevated Flare (EPN 8-84). Emissions from that flare should be addressed in a separate letter from Motiva. The reintroduction of Motiva's RCCU untreated dry gas resulted in the shell GO-1 unit flaring to the West Ops Elevated Flare.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Once system was secured, Motiva's maintenance personnel began repairs at the catalyst leak point. By May 12, the repairs on the system were completed and the system was returned to service. The diversion and reintroduction of RCCU Untreated Dry Gas caused the Shell GO-1 unit to flare to the GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90) until unit specifications were met. This flaring exceeded reportable quantities.
1,816.5 pounds
148252

2013-04-20
GO-1 Elevated Flare, FE-602
Cause: On April 20, 2013, GO-1 operations restarted compressor K5741 after planned maintenance was executed. During the restart event, GO-1 flared dry gas at the GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90) until the dry gas met specification to be used feed in the unit. The GO-1 flaring resulted in no reportable quantities exceeded but a permit limit exceedence of 46.32 lbs of Hexane.

Followup: No

Notes: The cause was a mechanical failure of the compressor check valve that required a dry gas compressor shutdown to repair. Once repairs were completed, dry gas must be flared until it meets specification to be used in the unit. An investigation determined the cause was the mechanical failure of the compressor check valve. This required a dry gas compressor shutdown to repair. Shell Chemical procedures require that the dry gas must be flared until it meets specification to be used in the unit.
2,343.7 pounds
148176

2013-04-19
OL-5 Elevated Flare, FE-101
Cause: On April 19, 2013 Shell Chemical's OL-5 Process Unit experienced an unexpected upset that led to flaring at the OL-5 Elevated Flare (EPN 6-84). The flaring was caused by high pressure on the process gas compressor (PGC) first stage suction drum. A pressure increase on the suction drum was due to the PGC slowing down as a result to the loss of vacuum on the compressor surface condenser. The surface condenser vacuum was lost due to a faulty level indication causing the loss of vacuum on surface condenser. The PGC upset also caused OL-5 cold-side to flare propylene off the outlet of the map converters because of a low flow shutdown of the converters.

Followup: No

Notes: OL-5 operations field verified the level int he PGC surface condenser and took corrective actions to safely return the unit to normal operating conditions and stop the flaring. OL-5 Maintenance repaired the PGC surface condenser level transmitter. Control systems adjusted the vacuum alarm setting for the PGC surface condenser to warn operators before the surface condenser vacuum is lost. Final calculations confirm that no reportable quantities were exceeded. The maximum permitted limits were exceeded for particulate matter, ethylbenzene, toluene, and xylene.
2,101.7 pounds
148040

2013-04-11
GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90)
Cause: On April 11, 2013 Shell Chemical's GO-1 Process Unit flared at the GO-1 Elevated Flare. The flaring was a result of a restart of the import dry gas from a supplier. GO-1 operations has to flare the import dry gas until it can be confirmed that it meets the specifications for feed to the GO-1 Process Unit.

Followup: No

Notes: Carbon monoxide, ethylene, propylene, sulfur dioxide, and volatile organic compounds were released from flaring at the GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90). Investigation and calculations confirm that no reportable quantities or maximum permit limits were exceeded. No duration or additional information was provided.
155954

2014-05-09
BD5 Unit post fractionator
Cause: On 5/9/2014, Shell Chemical's BD5 Unit flared process gas at the OL5 Ground Flare (FG-101). The pressure of the post fractionator unexpectedly increased resulting in a unit upset requiring BD5 to flare 1,3 butadiene product to safely stabilize the unit. It was determined that the pressure increase on the post was the result of a malfunctioned pressure transmitter.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Immediately, to minimize additional unit upset conditions and impacts, various process parameters were monitored and it was determined that the pressure increase on the post was the result of a malfunctioned pressure transmitter. The transmitter was monitored until repairs could be completed. To prevent the reoccurrence of this incident, maintenance evaluated the pressure transmitter and found that there was moisture inside the wiring terminal portion of the transmitter and the transmitter had loose wiring. The moisture was removed, wiring was tightened and it was verified that the transmitter cover was sealed to prevent reentry of moisture.
72.0 pounds
155666

2014-04-29
Methyl Acetylene and Propadiene Converter
Cause: On April 29, 2014 Shell Chemical's GO1 Unit flared off speciation propylene at the West Operations Ground Flare (WOGF) as a result of an unexpected loss of hydrogen to the Methyl Acetylene and Propadiene (MAP) Converter. The transmitter that controls the total feed flow to the MAP Converter and the instrument protective function transmitter closed during maintenance activities. This caused the valves controlling hydrogen flow to close and hydrogen flow to the MAP Converter suddenly stopped.

Followup: Yes

Notes: No Information Given
155267

2014-04-15
OL5 Unit RV
Cause: On 4/15/14, Shell Chemical's OL5 Unit flared process gas at the OL5 Ground Flare due to a relief valve (RV) on the ethylene product heater unexpectedly lifting. The pressure transmitters and gauges throughout the ethylene product system did not indicate any abnormal unit operation. It was determined that the relief valve malfunctioned by lifting prematurely.

Followup: Yes

Notes: To minimize additional unit upsets and impacts, operations personnel verified the readings from the pressure transmitters and gauges throughout the ethylene product system. Operations personnel safely removed the malfunctioning RV from services and subsequently replaced it. The malfunctioning RV was replaced on 4/22/14. Note that some reporting inconsistencies should lead to questions about the actual amounts released. For example, the refinery report suggests that total VOCs and HRVOCs are the same in the reporting documents. Further, some calculation errors seem apparent, as seen in the last row of table V.5; researcher asserts that the value in the last cell should be 0.23 rather than 100.23.
1,419.0 pounds
154582

2014-03-17
Primary depropanizer and debutanizer columns in OL5 Unit
Cause: On 3/17/2014, Shell Chemical's OL5 Unit flared process gas at the OL5 Ground Flare due to fluctuations in temperatures on the primary depropanizer and the debutanizer columns. The fluctuations in the temperatures at the primary depropanizer and debutanizer columns affected the pressure of the columns. Hydrocarbons from the depropanizer column were routed to the debutanizer column causing the pressure of the debutanizer column to rise and relieve to the OL5 Ground Flare (EPN 7-84).

Followup: Yes

Notes: To minimize additional unit upset conditions and impacts, additional furnaces within the unit were put into operation. This minimized the temperature fluctuations and the OL5 Unit was safely stabilized and able to return to normal operations. No specific remedial actions have been taken or planned at this time. Values for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) includes Highly Reactive VOCs (HRVOCs), including specifically Propylene and Ethylene. These HRVOC's exceeded LADEQ RQ values, but were not reported individually.
531.0 pounds
154274

2014-03-06
Process gas compressor in OL5 Unit
Cause: On 3/6/2014, Shell Chemical's OL5 Unit flared process gas at the OL5 Elevated Flare due to low seal oil pressure on the process gas compressor (PGC). To improve the performance of the seals on the PGC, operations manipulates valves on the PGC seal oil system. While shifting from automatic operation of the pressure controller on the second stage seal of the PGC to manual operation of the pressure controller, the valve on the pressure controller closed and caused low seal oil pressure. As a result, the PGC unexpectedly shut down as a safety measure to prevent potential catastrophic failure of the equipment.

Followup: Yes

Notes: To minimize additional unit upset conditions and impacts, the OL5 Unit was safely stabilized. Operations adjusted the valve on the pressure controller and the seal oil pressure was restored. Operations was able to safely restart the PGC and return normal operating conditions. To prevent the reoccurence of this incident, it will be determined if tuning adjustments are needed on the pressure controllers associated with the PGC operation. As an additional precautionary measure, all employees that operate the PGC will review the transfer process for these local controllers. In the report, it is stated that the process gas was flared at the OL5 Elevated Flare. Later in the document both the OL5 Elevated Flare (EPN 6-84) and the OL5 Ground Flare (EPN FE-101) are implicated in the flaring of the process gas. There is some improper labeling on the EPN number in the tables, but it appears that the flaring occurred at both flares simultaneously. As such, all values released are combined in this database.
18,346.0 pounds
154254

2014-03-04
OP-1
Cause: On 3/4/2014, Shell Chemical's OP-1 Unit flared process gas at the GO1 Elevated Flare due to low lube oil pressure on the process gas compressor (PGC). The main lube oil pump for the PGC had a mechanical failure and unexpectedly shutdown, resulting in the shutdown of the PCG.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Immediately, feed was safely removed from the OP-1 PGC and once the failure was identified, the feed was removed from the OP-1 furnace to repair the PGC. To prevent the recurrence of this incident, the failed mechanical components of the affected lube oil system of the PGC were repaired and the OP-1 Unit was safely restarted and returned to normal operation on 3/14/2014.
5,842.0 pounds
153803

2014-02-06
BD5 Unit
Cause: On 2/6/14, a vent heater from Shell Chemical's Butadiene 5 (BD5) Unit to the OL5 process gas compressor (PGC) unexpectedly froze during inclement weather, resulting in flaring at the OL5 ground flare. Once the header thawed, the unit was safely returned to normal operating conditions on 2/7/14, and the flaring stopped.

Followup: Yes

Notes: To minimize additional unit upset conditions and impacts, the vent stream from BD5 was routed to the flare until the header thawed. Once thawed, the vent stream was returned to its normal routing and BD5 was safely returned to normal operating conditions. To prevent the reoccurrence of this incident, the use of heat tracing and the development of a procedure to mitigate the frozen header are being evaluated. Both the reportable quantity and permit limit for 1,3 butadiene were exceeded.
197.0 pounds
153600

2014-01-29
OL5 Ground Flare (EPN 7-84) and OL5 Elevated Flare (EPN 6-84)
Cause: Shell Chemical's OL5 Unit flared carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, propylene and volatile organic compounds at the OL5 Ground Flare (EPN 7-84) and OL5 Elevated Flare (EPN 6-84). The flaring was a result of the propylene analyzer showing that propylene was off specification. After discovery, instrument technicians evaluated the analyzer and a sample of propylene was sent to the lab to verify the analyzer.

Followup: No

Notes: Motiva's industrial hygienists are monitoring downwind of the flare. Data gathering to perform calculations and investigation are ongoing.
153069

2014-01-03
OL-5 Ground Flare (EPN 7-84) and OL-Elevated Flare (EPN 6-84)
Cause: xylene, toluene, 1-3 butadiene, benzene, carbon monoxide, ethyl benzene, nitrogen oxide, particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, and sulfur dioxide flared at the OL-5 Ground Flare (EPN 7-84) and OL-Elevated Flare (EPN 6-84). The flaring resulted from a unit shutdown to repair the C2 Splitter Exchanger that was leaking.

Followup: No

Notes: There is no information on the amounts nor an incident ending date. The anticipated end time was reported as 1/17/2014. Shell stated they would provide an update within 60 days of the initial report on 1/9/2014 as of 9/5/2014 there has yet to be any kind of follow up report from Shell regarding this matter.