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Shell Chemical East (26336), Norco

Releases of Sulfur Dioxide

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.
73.9 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.
1,249.5 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.
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.
15,061.3 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.
1,343.2 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.
3,662.8 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.
43.2 pounds
136804

2012-01-28
OL-5 Elevated Flare (EPN 6-84)
Cause: On January 28, 2012 Shell Chemical's OL-5 Process Unit experienced an upset. This upset led to a false indication that there was flaring of acid gas at the OL-5 Elevated Flare (EPN 6-84). OL-5 experienced an unexpected high level in the DEA Stripper column trays due to plugging which carried over to the DEA accumulator. The elevated level in the accumulator forced a high pressure indication in the DEA overhead system and caused the flare valve to open to safely relieve the pressure on the system (as designed). However the liquid buildup in the overhead system due to this upset prevented any acid gas from being vented through the control valve to the flare. A review of the process data during the upset indication was a result of high liquid level in the overhead system.

Followup: Yes

Notes: It was confirmed that although the control valve had opened to the flare, no flaring through this path was possible as the overhead system was liquid full. The flare was smoking for 0 minutes according to Shell's initial and follow up reports. Once it was determined that the DEA Stripper was plugged and causing the flooding conditions in the overhead system, OL-5 Operations lowered the heat on the column and pumped the level in the accumulator down to lower the pressure indication/close the vent valve and stabilize the system. The DEA treatment system was shutdown and decontaminated for maintenance to completely clean the system. The cleaning removed plugging issues that lead to the unexpected flooding and high pressure indication in the overhead system. The DEA treatment system was safely returned to normal operating conditions once the cleaning activities were completed. Initial State Police Hazmat Hotline report states there was offsite impact, and up to time of call and 24-hour update there was still minor and occasional flaring. Shell's Notification Release Form states that occasional flaring may occur until system was returned to normal conditions.
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
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".
6.7 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.
645.9 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.
157.2 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.
10,547.3 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.
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.
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.
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.