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Shell Chemical East (26336), Norco

Releases of Propane

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

exchanger in GO-1 Process Unit
Cause: Propane and propylene were released to the atmosphere from a leaking exchanger in the GO-1 Process Unit.

Followup: Yes

Notes: The exchanger was isolated to stop leak source. Upon investigation into the leak it was determined that the exchange had a ruptured tube. Investigation into the cause of the rupture continues. The exchanger will be repaired before it is returned to service.

heat exchanger in the GO-1 Process Unit
Cause: Operations discovered a leak on a heat exchanger in the GO-1 Process Unit. The release began at 2100 hours on December 17, 2012 and ended at 1500 hours on December 18, 2012 for a duration of 18 hours.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Maintenance tightened bolts on the head of the exchanger and the leak stopped. Insulation on the exchanger head was removed and repairs were made to the exchanger. Follow-up letter reported that the reportable quantity for High Reactive Volatile Organic Compounds (propylene) was exceeded.
11.6 pounds

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.
2,588.0 pounds


Cause: On May 23, 2014, Motiva's DU-5 unit unexpectedly had the relief valve on their Debutanizer Accumulator, part of the Debutanizer Overhead System, relieve to Shell Chemical's Utilities East Elevated Flare (FE-501). The relief valve lifted as a result of an accumulation of hydrocarbons in the Debutanizer Overhead System.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Unit pressure and feed levels were safely diminished to conform to standards. 6/6/14 report states that no reportable quantities were exceeded.

C3 Spliiter Column
Cause: On 5/6/2014, Shell Chemical's GO1 Unit flared process gas at the GO1 Elevated Flare to repair an unexpected leak on a transmitter line at the C3 Splitter Column. To safely complete this repair the C3 Splitter Column was shut down and decontaminated, resulting in the flaring.

Followup: No

Notes: No Information Given