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Motiva Enterprises (1406), Norco

Releases in 2006

LDEQ Accident Number
Accident Date
Point Source/Release CauseNotes
92925

2006-12-28
Point Source(s):
West Ops Ground Flare FG-201 (EPN #9-84)

Pollutant(s):
Carbon Monoxide - 3,427 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide - 85 pounds
Particulate Matter - 119 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide - 159 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 1,217 pounds
1,3-Butadiene - 63 pounds
Hexane - 4 pounds
Benzene - 21 pounds
Toluene - 5 pounds
Cause of Problem: Start Up, Shut Down

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.
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.
92519

2006-12-09
Point Source(s):
GO-1 Elevated Flare
OL-5 Elevated Flare

Pollutant(s):
Carbon Monoxide - 165 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide - 30 pounds
Particulate Matter - 6 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 60 pounds
Carbon Monoxide - 3,610 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide - 663 pounds
Particulate Matter - 125 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide - 17,463 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 917 pounds
Hexane - 1 pounds
Cause of Problem: Process Upset

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.
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.
92470

2006-12-07
Point Source(s):
West Ops Ground Flare (EPN# 9-84)

Pollutant(s):
1,3-Butadiene - BRQ
Benzene - BRQ
Highly Reactive Volatile Organic Compounds (HRVOCs) - BRQ
Nitrogen Oxide - BRQ
Sulfur Dioxide - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Start Up, Shut Down

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.
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.
92393

2006-12-02
Point Source(s):

RGHT Unit

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - BRQ
Toluene - BRQ
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

Release was due to leaking flange on exchanger E-8110B during normal operating conditions.
No information given.
92253

2006-11-25
Point Source(s):


Pollutant(s):
Oil - BRQ
Hydrogen Sulfide - BRQ
Sulfur Dioxide - BRQ
Nitrogen Oxide - BRQ
Benzene - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Start Up, Shut Down

Verbal notification on 11/25/06 states flaring was due to starting Motiva Norco unit up from a turn around.
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.
91657

2006-10-26
Point Source(s):


Pollutant(s):
1,3-Butadiene - 5
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

Operators discovered a pin hole leak in a finishing butadiene line while conducting air monitoring.
Upon discovery, a temporary clamp was installed and an order was placed for a permanent clamp. Once permanent clamp was fabricated and delivered, it was installed over the leak.
91641

2006-10-25
Point Source(s):
West Ops Ground Flare (EPN# 9-84)

Pollutant(s):
Carbon Monoxide - 233 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide - 43 pounds
Particulate Matter - 8 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 11 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide - 15 pounds
Hexane - 0 pounds
Cause of Problem: Other - See text

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.
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.
91490

2006-10-18
Point Source(s):
West Ops Ground Flare (EPN# 9-84)

Pollutant(s):
Nitrogen Oxide - 33 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 82 pounds
Toluene - 0 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide - 3 pounds
Benzene - 2 pounds
1,3-Butadiene - 6 pounds
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

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.
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.
No LDEQ Number Available

2006-10-05
Point Source(s):
RCCU Flare (EPN 8-84)

Pollutant(s):
Sulfur Dioxide - 0
Cause of Problem: Maintenance/Procedures

Event due to the decontamination of process equipment at the RCCU.
Investigation ongoing as of 10/12/06. No follow-up report can be located due to lack of LDEQ number.
91094

2006-10-03
Point Source(s):
West Ops Ground Flare (EPN# 9-84)

Pollutant(s):
Nitrogen Oxide - 34 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 80 pounds
Toluene - 0 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide - 5 pounds
Benzene - 1 pounds
Cause of Problem: Process Upset

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).
Flaring was not continuous throughout start and end dates.
91050

2006-10-02
Point Source(s):
Coker Flare FE-401 (EPN 2-84)
No iCoker Flare FE-401 (EPN 2-84)nformation given

Pollutant(s):
Carbon Monoxide - 20 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide - 4 pounds
Particulate Matter - 1 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide - 257 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 10 pounds
Benzene - 0 pounds
Cyclohexane - 0 pounds
Ethylene - 0 pounds
Propylene - 0 pounds
Highly Reactive Volatile Organic Compounds - 0 pounds
Hexane - BRQ
1,3-Butadiene - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

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.
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.
90191

2006-08-23
Point Source(s):
Coker Flare (EPN# 2-84)

Pollutant(s):
Sulfur Dioxide - 0
Cause of Problem: Start Up, Shut Down

Flaring occurred at the S-2 Incinerator due to the shutdown and restart and Motiva's Sulfur Plant No. 3.
Data gathering to perform calculations and incident investigation is ongoing as of 08/30/06.
90114

2006-08-20
Point Source(s):
West Ops Ground Flare (EPN# 9-84)

Pollutant(s):
Sulfur Dioxide - 1,173 pounds
Benzene - 151 pounds
Hexane - 38 pounds
Toluene - 82 pounds
Carbon Monoxide - 18,796 pounds
Particulate Matter - 650 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 4,240 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide - 3,455 pounds
Cause of Problem: Process Upset

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.
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.
90100

2006-08-19
Point Source(s):
West Ops Ground Flare (EPN# 9-84)

Pollutant(s):
1,3-Butadiene - 13 pounds
Benzene - 2 pounds
Butylene - BRQ
Propylene - BRQ
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 5 pounds
Cause of Problem: Process Upset

Incident due to an upset at Shell Chemical's GO-1 process unit.
Letter states that no RQ's were exceeded. Little info given regarding cause and duration.
89783

2006-08-06
Point Source(s):
West Ops Ground Flare (EPN# 9-84)

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - 1 pounds
Toluene - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Process Upset

Incident due to an upset at Shell Chemical's GO-1 Process Unit that led to an increase in pressure of the pyro-fract column. The increased pressure led to the opening of a relief device used to protect the column. Some of the material from the relief device was flared at the Motiva West Operations Ground Flare.
Process gases were flared at the West Ops Ground Flare until Shell Chemical's GO-1 Process Unit was under control. The incident was not under the control of Motiva Enterprises, LLC.
89273

2006-07-20
Point Source(s):
RCCU CO Heater (EPN# 2-91)

Pollutant(s):
Carbon Monoxide - 2,907 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide - 1,132 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 56 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide - BRQ
Particulate Matter - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Start Up, Shut Down

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.
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.
89388

2006-07-19
Point Source(s):
West Ops Ground Flare (EPN# 9-84)

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - 1 pounds
Toluene - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Weather

Shell Chemical's GO-1 Process Unit experienced a process upset caused by instrument issues. A severe thunderstorm resulted in lightning strike causing several instrument to malfunction, leading to the upset. This process upset led to flaring at the Motiva West Operations Ground Flare. After mitigating the issues caused by the lightning strike, a malfunctioning level transmitter on the dry gas compressor second stage suction drum caused a compressor shutdown, leading to additional flaring at the Motiva West Operations Ground Flare.
Process gases were flared at the West Operations Ground Flare until Shell Chemical's GO-1 Process Unit was under control. 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, respectively, of the GO-1 process unit.
88879

2006-06-24
Point Source(s):
Subsurface pipeline

Pollutant(s):
Crude Oil - 462 gallons
Benzene - 10 pounds
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons - 12 pounds
Cause of Problem: Corrosion

A previously unidentified area of external corrosion on a 20" sub-surface pipeline failed during the unloading of a shipment of crude oil, resulting in hydrocarbons escaping to the surrounding soil.
Operations immediately halted off-loading activities, isolated the line through the use of existing valves, called out additional personnel to begin containment, clean up and repair operations and notified the Norco Site Supervisor. Vacuum trucks were utilized to recover all standing liquids following the release as well as during de-inventorying of the line. Once the line was de-inventoried and prepped, an external weld clamp was installed over the isolated area of corrosion. After removal of the liquid hydrocarbon was completed, excavation of visually stained soils was initiated. The line will be excavated and inspected on a five-year interval. During the release only the near-surface soils and those directly adjacent to the leak were affected. There was no evidence of pollution migration. A copy of the PSI Investigation report is attached in PDF.
88507

2006-06-10
Point Source(s):
West Ops Ground Flare (EPN# 9-84)

Pollutant(s):
Carbon Monoxide - 3,317 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide - BRQ
Benzene - 12 pounds
Toluene - 6 pounds
Hexane - BRQ
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

Incident due to a process upset at Shell Chemical's GO-1 Process Unit caused by an unexpected shutdown of a process gas compressor.
No remedial actions; the incident was not under the control of Motiva Enterprises, LLC.
88273

2006-06-02
Point Source(s):
F-485 Motor Alkylate Tank

Pollutant(s):
2,2,4-Trimethylpentane - BRQ
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 1 pounds
Cause of Problem: Instrument Failure

The incident was due to the inadvertent landing of the external floating roof of tank F-485 onto its legs due to low gauging. The F-485 motor alkylate tank was low gauged and set on its legs, causing two 2" vents to open to the atmosphere for a duration of 12 minutes.
No information given.
88170

2006-05-26
Point Source(s):
GO-1 Process Unit ; West Ops Ground Flare (EPN 9-84)
West Ops Ground Flare (EPN 9-84)

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - 14 pounds
Smoke - BRQ
Toluene - 1 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide - 105 pounds
Particulate Matter - 20 pounds
Carbon Monoxide - 569 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 157 pounds
1,3-Butadiene - 23 pounds
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

Shell Chemical's GO-1 Process Unit experienced a small pipe leak on a line at the base of a process vessel. The leak developed during an online abrasive blasting job. In order to relieve pressure on this line, operations had to reduce rates at the GO-1 process unit. The reduction of rates caused flaring at Motiva's West Operations Ground Flare (EPN 9-84).
Shell Chemical installed a clamp to stop the leak then returned operations to normal conditions.
87231

2006-04-17
Point Source(s):
West Ops Ground Flare (EPN# 9-84)

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - 2 pounds
Toluene - 0 pounds
Carbon Monoxide - 2,128 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide - 391 pounds
Particulate Matter - 74 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide - 69 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 579 pounds
1,3-Butadiene - 15 pounds
Hexane - 1 pounds
Cause of Problem: Power Failure

A power outage caused a process upset at the Shell Chemical facility. This resulted in flaring at Motiva's West Operations Ground Flare.
No remedial actions; the incident was not under the control of Motiva Enterprises, LLC.
87197

2006-04-15
Point Source(s):
RCCU Flare (EPN 8-84) and GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90)

Pollutant(s):
Sulfur Dioxide - 4,418 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide - 1,093 pounds
Carbon Monoxide - 6,236 pounds
Particulate Matter - 216 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 7,291 pounds
Cause of Problem: Human Factors

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.
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.
87192

2006-04-14
Point Source(s):
Unspecified light olefin line

Pollutant(s):
Oil - 126 gallons
Benzene - 0 pounds
Flammable Gas - 7 pounds
Cause of Problem: Human Factors

An open bleeder valve was discovered during the commissioning of a 6" light olefin line, resulting in hydrocarbons escaping to the soil.
Operations closed the bleeder valve and notified the Site Supervisor. Vacuum trucks were deployed and contaminated soils were removed. The findings of the investigation were dispersed throughout operations via shift meetings and operational procedures were reviewed. The operator found to be at fault was individually met with and reprimanded by business area management.
86806

2006-03-28
Point Source(s):
HCU ATM RV-1177
HCU Flare (EPN 4-84)
Multiple

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - 58 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide - 278 pounds
Carbon Monoxide - 77 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 9,586 pounds
Hexane - 1,090 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide - 414 pounds
Cause of Problem: Power Failure

The 13.8 breaker providing power to MCC #1,2,3 in the HUC switchgear opened, resulting in a complete unit shutdown.
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.
88624

2006-03-16
Point Source(s):
None Reported
Pollutant(s):
Cause of Problem: Process Upset

Incident due to unit upset condition at Hydrocracker Unit; caused a potential permit limit exceedance from the HCU Flare (EPN #4-84).
No information given. Follow-up report promised in 03/23/06 report, cannot be located on LDEQ database as of 07/18/13.
85967

2006-02-21
Point Source(s):
DU-5 Unit

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - 1,532 pounds
n-Hexane - 4,197 pounds
Toluene - 1,266 pounds
Xylene - 614 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 60,571 pounds
Highly Reactive Volatile Organic Compounds (HRVOCs) - 1,885 pounds
Flammable Gas - 60,583 pounds
Ethylbenzene - 124 pounds
1,3-Butadiene - 6 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide - 0 pounds
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

An atmospheric leak of light naphtha gasoline material was identified in Motiva's Distilling unit due to a piping failure on the crude column overhead line. Initially, operations personnel identified the line dripping in two locations, and vaporizing before reaching grade.
Operations developed a plan to safely remove insulation so that the leak could be stopped. Operations installed barricade tape around affected area and monitored the leak for benzene. A catch tray was fabricated and mounted directly to the crude overhead piping to contain atmospheric emissions while the associated insulation was removed from the crude overhead line. Once the insulation was removed, a pipe clamp was installed to permanently stoped the leak. The overhead piping will be replaced during the next unit turnaround in October 2006.
85653

2006-02-06
Point Source(s):
RCCU Flare (EPN 8-84)

Pollutant(s):
Carbon Monoxide - 253 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide - 476 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 150 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide - 44 pounds
Particulate Matter - 5 pounds
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

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.
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.
85556

2006-02-02
Point Source(s):
Alkylation Unit Utililty Column PV-1108

Pollutant(s):
Flammable Gas - 6,722 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 6,722 pounds
Highly Reactive Volatile Organic Compounds (HRVOCs) - 6,722 pounds
Cause of Problem: Maintenance/Procedures

A flammable gas leak was identified in Motiva's Alkylation unit on Utility Column PV-1108. While performing sandblasting work on the vessel, a Basic Industries employee discovered a hydrocarbon leak on the vessel, and Motiva Operations was notified.
The Norco VSERT team was activated to verify that this was a hydrocarbon leak. Once this was verified, unit operators shutdown the Alkylation Unit, isolated Utility Column PV-1108, and plugged the hole in the column to stop the leak. To prevent recurrence, Motiva has made permanent repairs to the Alkylation Utility Column PV-1108 and plans to inspect it on a routine basis. Motiva now requires sandblasting contracts to have sandblasting quality control systems in place. Motiva Coordinators perform random job site audits of sandblasting work areas to assure that quality control systems are being practiced.