Info on smoke in St. Charles Parish (2 Viewers)

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From WWL via e-mail alert:


A lot of people have called WWL radio from Jefferson and St. Charles
Parish
today asking, "What's on fire?"

Officials says it is prompted by big flames and lots of smoke as the
refinery in Norco is flaring.

George Guidry at the St. Charles Emergency Operations Center says, "Shell
is
shutting down a series of units because of a compressor trip. It's a
normal
shut down whenever a compressor trips."

He says there is no danger to the public.

"Although there is a lot of black smoke there is nothing to be concerned
about at this time," Guidry said.</pre>
 

Saintlady

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I live in St. Charles Parish.
I hear the same thing, yet, it still concerns me.....some.
 

Brad Mojo

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"Move along, nothing to see here"
 

Mr. Blue Sky

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I grew up in St. Charles Parish (Norco and Destrehan) for the most part, and it seems like there was always something nefarious (explosions, chemical leaks and the like) going down at- take your pick- one of the refineries in the area- Shell Oil, Shell Chemical, Goodhope/Valero, etc. etc.... You kind of get used to it.
 

RiverCitySaint

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There was a lot of smoke in the south Austin area yesterday because of a large brush fire.
Nobody noticed the smoke.
 

threexcharm

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I worked at Tenneco Oil Refinery for five years. There is a lot of pressurized product running through the Hydrocrackers and Isomerization units. That is how gasoline is produced. When something such as a compressor trips and shuts down, it is usually for safety reasons. When that happens, that pressure has to be released, it could be done manually or by a relief valve. Either way, it is usually sent to the flare, to burn it off.

You don't even want to think about what happens if that pressure is not bled from the system. I witnessed (from a distance) a 900 pound per square inch Hydrogen line blow.

I see it today like it just happened. You never forget stuff like that.

Joe
 

peytonknows

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Sabine

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I grew up in St. Charles Parish (Norco and Destrehan) for the most part, and it seems like there was always something nefarious (explosions, chemical leaks and the like) going down at- take your pick- one of the refineries in the area- Shell Oil, Shell Chemical, Goodhope/Valero, etc. etc.... You kind of get used to it.

It was just the opposite for us in SETX. The string of plants from Port Arthur up to Beaumont was a long way off but, if there was smoke coming from that direction, everyone got nervous. I don't recall any major events. It was usually someone burning off a pasture or marsh (especially this time of year), but everyone stopped what they were doing until they found out for sure that it wasn't a plant. We all grew up believing that if one refinery blew, the whole string would go.
 

Mr. Blue Sky

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It was just the opposite for us in SETX. The string of plants from Port Arthur up to Beaumont was a long way off but, if there was smoke coming from that direction, everyone got nervous. I don't recall any major events. It was usually someone burning off a pasture or marsh (especially this time of year), but everyone stopped what they were doing until they found out for sure that it wasn't a plant. We all grew up believing that if one refinery blew, the whole string would go.


Yeah, I guess it was the same way for a lot of people in Norco-- especially in 1988 when a "cat cracker" blew at Shell Oil, which made national news because it killed some workers and rocked the town. A lot of people had to rebuild their homes, and just about everyone I knew got around $10k each in a lawsuit- except me since I had just moved away.
 

Saintlady

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I worked at Tenneco Oil Refinery for five years. There is a lot of pressurized product running through the Hydrocrackers and Isomerization units. That is how gasoline is produced. When something such as a compressor trips and shuts down, it is usually for safety reasons. When that happens, that pressure has to be released, it could be done manually or by a relief valve. Either way, it is usually sent to the flare, to burn it off.

You don't even want to think about what happens if that pressure is not bled from the system. I witnessed (from a distance) a 900 pound per square inch Hydrogen line blow.

I see it today like it just happened. You never forget stuff like that.

Joe

This is what Shell stated about it:

"As a result of a mechanical issue at one of our olefins units, we are experiencing steam issues at the Norco site. As a result we had to shut down several Shell and Motiva units at the site to reduce the environmental impact of flaring and to maintain the operation of our larger units. We will experience elevated flaring for several days during the restart of the units. "

They also stated that there was no danger to the community.
 

Wisdom Tooth

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I still remember the Shell explosion in St. Charles Parish in the 80's where the night sky turned orange. It's like an earthquake because an incident like that always makes you wonder when the next one will be.
 

slowmotion

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I still remember the Shell explosion in St. Charles Parish in the 80's where the night sky turned orange. It's like an earthquake because an incident like that always makes you wonder when the next one will be.

I remember it too. I was about 7 years old and my family was living in those apartments in Ormond and felt the whole building shake and it woke me and my parents up. My sister was a baby and started crying.
 

Mr. Blue Sky

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This is what Shell stated about it:

"As a result of a mechanical issue at one of our olefins units, we are experiencing steam issues at the Norco site. As a result we had to shut down several Shell and Motiva units at the site to reduce the environmental impact of flaring and to maintain the operation of our larger units. We will experience elevated flaring for several days during the restart of the units. "

They also stated that there was no danger to the community.


LOL My mom just got one of those flyers on her doorstep, and was like "What the hell??" when I read it to her over the phone verbatim from your post while here in Columbus, OH, for work. :ezbill:
 

champ76

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Well this will probably drive up the cost of gasoline another dime at the pump.
 

Saintlady

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LOL My mom just got one of those flyers on her doorstep, and was like "What the hell??" when I read it to her over the phone verbatim from your post while here in Columbus, OH, for work. :ezbill:

LOL, same reaction from my MIL when she got hers(which I read). They are probably neighbors, heh.
 

varanook

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It's OL-5 which is an olefins unit. As far as I know none of the actual oil refining is down.

The Process Gas Compressor (PGC) had a lube oil leak which tripped the safeties on the compressor for immediate shutdown. As 3excharm said, it's a good thing.

Under normal circumstance when flaring a moderate or normal amount of product steam is injected to "clean it up" when the steam is down as well it makes for that ugly smoke.
 

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