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Shell Chemical East (26336), Norco

Releases of Propylene

LDEQ Accident Number
Accident Date
Point Source(s) Notes Amount of Release
145447

2012-12-18
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.
2,159.0
145423

2012-12-17
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.
153.7 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.
34,384.0 pounds
144473

2012-11-06
GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90)
Cause: On 11/6/12, Shell Chemical's GO-1 Process Unit flared at the GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90). The flaring was a result of an unexpected unit upset in GO-1 caused by the receiving of off specification feed from a supplier.

Followup: No

Notes: Once the upset occurred, GO-1 operations took the necessary steps to minimize flaring and safely return the units to normal operating conditions and the flaring stopped. Investigation and data gathering confirm that no RQ or maximum permitted limits were exceeded.
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.
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.
139571

2012-05-09
Furnace in the OL-5 Process Unit
Cause: On May 9, 2012 Shell Chemicals OL-5 Process Unit experienced a small fire during restart of a furnace. After feed to the furnace was established as part of furnace start up, a gasket on the 42" feed line failed. Hydrocarbon vapors from the leaking gasket were then ignited.

Followup: No

Notes: The valve providing feed to the furnace was closed and the fire was extinguished. Upon further investigation of the gasket failure it was discovered that recommended maintenance practices for installation of these type gaskets was not followed during this installation. After inspection it was also believed that the nuts and bolts used were worn and may have reached the end of their useful life. New quality control procedures are being put in place to ensure that the proper installation is used in future installation of this type gasket. It was also recommended that the nuts and bolts be replaced during the repair work on the flange and that closer inspections of the nuts and bolts be done during future repairs. LABB was only able to find the final follow-up; there was no facility letter. Shell estimates that there was a leakage of approximately 200lbs of quench oil which is broken down in the pollutants.
153013

2013-12-24
pressure relief valve
Cause: On December 24th 2013, Shell Chemical's OL5 operations discovered a pressure relief valve opening to the OL5 flare system.

Followup: Yes

Notes: OL-5 operations began working to remove non condensables in an attempt to get the relief valve to close. To close the pressure relief valve and stop the flow to the flare system, operations reduced the pressure upstream of the pressure relief valve, returning the unit to safe, normal operating conditions.
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.
145744

2013-01-07
GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90)
Cause: Shell Chemical's GO-1 Process Unit flared at the GO-1 Elevated Flare as a result of an unexpected unit upset in GO-1 caused by the receiving of off specification feed from a supplier.

Followup: Yes

Notes: GO-1 operations took the necessary steps to minimize flaring and safely return the units to normal operating conditions and the flaring stopped. No reportable quantities were exceeded.
158624

2014-09-10
OL5 Elevated Flare
Cause: The OL5 Unit at Shell Chemical flared propylene at the OL5 Ground and Elevated Flares. Flaring occurred as a result of the overfilling of the propylene refrigerant compressor (PRC) accumulator. The overfilling of the PRC accumulator caused the downstream piping that is routed to the primary demethanizer column reboiler to fill with liquid propylene. Normally, vapor propylene is routed to the primary demethanizer column reboiler from the PRC accumulator to heat the demethanizer column. Contrarily, the overfilling of this line with liquid propylene caused the primary demethanizer column reboiler to operate improperly and affect the primary demthanizer operation.

Followup: No

Notes: To mitigate this abnormal situation, Operations personnel flared the excess propylene to the propylene refrigerant compressor (PRC) accumulator. Report states that an investigation is ongoing. No information given about remedial actions taken or pollutant amounts released.
155753

2014-05-06
Motiva Enterprises Residue Cat Cracking Unit
Cause: On 5/6/2014, propylene from the fuel gas blend drum was flared at Shell Chemical's Utilities East (UE) Flare. Motiva Enterprises Residue Cat Cracking Unit (RCCU) unexpectedly had to route propylene to the UE Flare when the C3 Splitter Column at Shell Chemical's GO1 Unit was shut down to safely repair an unexpected leak on a transmitter line. Propylene from RCCU was diverted to the UE Flare to prevent the over pressuring of the fuel gas blend drum.

Followup: Yes

Notes: To prevent the over-pressuring of the fuel gas blend drum, the propylene from the RCCU was diverted to the UE Flare. No information about actions taken to prevent future occurrence. Incident report LDEQ # 155756 also resulted from the shutdown of the C3 Splitter Column.
155756

2014-05-06
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
155898

2014-05-06
C3 Splitter Column at GO1 Unit
Cause: On 5/9/14 Shell Chemical's GO1 Unit flared process gas at the GO1 Elevated Flare to start up the C3 Splitter Column. On 5/6/2014, an unexpected leak was found on the C3 Splitter Column at GO1. To safely repair the leak, the C3 Splitter Column was safely shut down. The repairs were completed on 5/8/2014 and to return to normal operation, the C3 Splitter Column started up resulting in flaring. On 5/9/2014, Shell Chemical's GO1 Unit flared process gas at the GO1 Elevated Flare to safely start up the C3 Splitter Column.

Followup: Yes

Notes: No Information Given. Appears that this event refers to flaring that occurred during the start up of the C3 Splitter Column at GO1 after safely repairing a leak. As such, this event likely occurred on 5/9/2014, not during the release start/end time reported. Multiple reports have stemmed from this repair.
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
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.
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.
153355

2014-01-08
GO1 Unit
Cause: The GO1 Unit flared process gas as the result of an instrument giving a faulty signal.

Followup: No

Notes: The investigation is ongoing and the report states that Shell plans to provide a follow-up.