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EMEREGNCY HANDLING PROCEDURES FOR HCU/DHT-IV MAJOR LEAK/FIRE IN HP REACTION SECTION

BY DILIP

WHY TO BE DISCUSSED?
December 10, 1991 North Rhine, Westphalia, Germany

cooler in the high pressure section of the HCU resulted in a release of HC and H2, which subsequently ignited.
Reason

A pipe failure in the T-junctions area of an air

-severe corrosion/erosion in pipeline Result - A substantial part of unit was destroyed by the explosion and subsequent fire. -HCU was shut down for approx. seven months with loss of nearly $90,000,000
Reference-The 100 Largest Losses 1972-2001 Large Property Damage Losses in the Hydrocarbon-Chemical Industries. MARSH-Property Risk Consulting

This may be the result

This may be the result

Leaks may take place by


Corrosion Erosion Mechanical failure of equipment/instrument/ lines De chocking of Low Point Drains (LPDs)

WHY TO BE DISCUSSED?

A leak in the HP system-A serious emergency , requires immediate action to prevent harm to personnel and equipment. The first moves- Dont panic ,Be decisive and act promptly. In case of leak in the HP reaction system, the entire high pressure system will start to depressurise through the leak. These escaping gases can provide fuel for a serious fire.

Action items...
Normal Operation Reactor Heater Fires Make-up H2 Rate Oil Feed Rate System Pressure Recycle Compressor Reactor Quench F/E Bypass Rate Separator CTL Valves Injection Water Watch Watch Watch Watch Watch Watch Watch Watch Watch Fire/leak Stop Stop Stop Depressurize Maximum Maximum Maximum Watch Stop

Immediate Actions
1.

2.

3. 4. 5.

Depressurize the reactor loop by opening the emergency depressuring valve. Trip (extinguish) all furnace fires (main burners and pilots). Maximize quench to the reactor beds. Stop all make-up hydrogen flow to the unit. Maximize feed/effluent exchanger bypass rate.
Call Refinery Fire Dept. to respond to fire

Immediate Actions
6.

Continue recycle gas as long as possible to assist cooling.


A.

If recycle gas compressor is the source of the leak, trip the machine and close the isolation valves. Follow the procedure for loss of recycle gas compressor.

7.

8.

Close the feed control valves to the 1st,2nd stage HCR & DHT reactors. Verify the chopper valves trip closed. Trip the reactor feed pumps -16-PA-CF-101/201A/B/301A/B

Secondary Actions
9.

Manually block in the fuel gas supply (pilot and main burners),

Open air resister fully of each burners, Stack damper to be kept full open

10.

11.

If possible (depending on the location of the emergency), preparations should be made to operate one of the MUG compressors on nitrogen. If safe to do so, start emergency nitrogen to the discharge of the RGC

Secondary Actions
12.

Monitor the liquid oil levels in the separators and carefully control liquid levels to prevent blowing high pressure gas into the low pressure system. Manually close level valves when levels go low. Stop and secure water injection and amine systems. Block in the fuel gas supply (pilot and main burners) to all furnaces and admit snuffing steam into the fireboxes. (In case of fire inside firebox) If the leak has not been contained, maintain a nitrogen flow out of the leak to prevent pulling air into the system.

13. 14.

15.

ACCIDENTS IN HCU- CASE STUDIES-1


1-Major Reactor Runaway
-Fatality at a U.S. Refining Company Background

-Incident occurred in a 2ndstage reactor at a HCU


Refinery throughput -

140 KBPD.

Reference-CLG seminar on hydro cracker

Incident Summary
in Bed 4 of a 5-bed reactor.
Temperature excursion began with a

hot spot

Hot spot most likely caused by poor flow and misdistribution (cause unidentified). Confusion was due to a variety of factors including:
Fluctuating temperature readings Stopping of make-up flow to second stage Misleading recycle H2 purity analysis Absence of audible high temperature alarms after the

first high temperature occurrence

Incident Summary (Contd)


Penal officers did not depressurize reactor when

temperatures exceeded maximum levels because they were confused about whether an excursion was actually occurring.
Penal officers were attempting to verify temperatures

in the reactor by having an person obtain temperature readings from the field panels under the reactors readings to the control room.

Poor radio communications hampered relaying these

Incident Summary (Contd)


reactor inlet temperatures were > 800F (4270C), they did not depressurize. They did begin to take steps to cool the reactor by increasing quench and reducing the heater outlet temperature.
Temperatures continued to rise out of control Even after

while field person continued to verify field instrumentation at the panel located at the bottom of the reactor
Unit was still not depressured!!

1400F (7600C), the reactor outlet piping ruptured causing a massive explosion and fire

Once temperature were in excess of

Incident Summary (Contd)


The person checking the field panel was killed. 46 Company and contract personnel were injured. 13 injured personnel were taken to the hospital,

treated, and released.


1600 1400 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0

Rx 3 4th and 5th bed

0 35 :0 7: 0 35 :4 7: 0 36 :2 7: 0 37 :0 7: 0 37 :4 7: 0 38 :2 7: 0 39 :0 7: 0 39 :4 7: 0 40 :2 7: 0 41 :0 7: 0 41 :4 0

7:

7:

7:

7:

Bed 4 outlet Bed 5 inlet Bed 5 outlet Bed 5 Outlet Bed 5 outlet Bed 5 outlet Rx 3 inlet

deg F

0 33 :0

33 :4

34 :2

Incident Causes and Contributing Factors


Conditions Human

to support and encourage employees to operate reactors in a safe manner were inadequate. factors were poorly considered in the design and operation of the reactor temperature monitoring system. management was inadequate. readiness and maintenance was inadequate.

Supervisory Operational Training

and support was inadequate. were outdated and incomplete. Hazard Analysis was flawed.

Procedures Process

ACCIDENTS IN HCU- CASE STUDIES-2


2.Major Incident Involving Piping Failure and Fire at a HCU.
Unit Overview
2 Stage Running at

Hydrocracker Unit

maximum rate (~25 KBPD)

Sequence of Events Investigation Findings Lesson Learned

Sequence of Events
ascending reactor profile.
Plant running normally at maximum feed and Hydrogen make-up system started to sag. Only token feed cuts made (1000 Recycle loop starts to sag. Increased quenching robbed recycle hydrogen. Reactors start to overheat, temperature waves start.

bbl and 500 bbl).

B/P

Field team did opening and closing the F/E exchanger

Sequence of Events (Contd)


Furnace TCV going fully closed off Reactor temperatures reached as high as 1200F

(649C).

steam ring on the reactor bottom. at the bottom head. the piping to fail.

A small flange fire found and extinguished with a A second small fire was observed under the reactor Flame impingement on the quench piping caused A large fire erupted and the unit was subsequently

shutdown.

Lessons Learned
moved more aggressively in decreasing feed to stay within the available hydrogen make-up.
Operator moves were The Panel officers should have

proactive,

reactive rather than

temperatures, temperature excursion procedures should have been executed.

Once quenching proved ineffective to control bed

ACCIDENTS IN HCU- CASE STUDIES-3


Unit Overview
60

KBPD 2-Stage Hydro cracking Unit at moderate rate (~45 KBPD)

Running

Sequence of Events
Plant running normally at moderate rates 2:25-

H2S monitor alarmed

Vapor release observed Called Refinery Fire Dept. to respond to

potential fire

Sounded local evacuation in plant Field team used SCBAs and set fire monitor on

way out of unit

Plant emergency shutdown activated

Sequence of Events (Contd)


2:28 2:28

- Deflagration of vapor cloud. - Called in fire to Refinery Fire Dept.

volunteers respond.
2:30

Plant Protection and First Response Team

- Refinery Fire Dept. called City Fire Dept. to respond.


~2:43

-Instrumentation lost to unit.

Simplified Flow Diagram of Immediate Area


First-Stage Low Pressure Separator

- Valve That Failed


Level Controller

Pressure Drop Control Valve

Second-Stage Low Pressure Separator

To Distillation Section Level Controller

Power Recovery Turbine (Was Out of Service at the Time)

Isolation Block Valve on Pressure Drop Control Valve From Combined First-Stage and Second-Stage Effluent Stream (From Low Pressure Separators) to the Distillation Section Failed
Isolation Block Valve Bonnet

Second-Stage Air Coolers

Location of Valve That Failed

Damage at Field Work Center


Most of the crew was located in this building at the time of the release

runs for instrumentation and other electrical equipment lasted approximately 15 minutes before collapse.

Conduit

Lessons Learned
Key items that led to safe shutdown and evacuation of unit:
Training, Training, Training Utilization of emergency shutdown devices Sequential dump system utilized to depressure units Make-up hydrogen choppers activated Remote shutdowns of all feed pumps. Site specific training of ALL

personnel working in the unit, which included evacuation training.

Lessons Learned (Contd)


item found is that this units EDS was set up to fail closed on loss of electrical signal.
This caused the EDV system to close once the conduit One key

run failed.

shutdown devices (EBVs, EDVs, choppers, etc.)

Fireproofing needs to be evaluated on all emergency

ACCIDENTS IN HCU- CASE STUDIES-4


April 10, 1989 Richmond, California, United States

line carrying hydrogen gas at 3,000 psi failed at a weld, resulting in a high pressure hydrogen fire. fire resulted in flame impingement on the calcium silicate insulation of the skirt for a 100-foot high reactor in a HCU. steel skirt for this reactor, which was 10 to 12 feet in diameter and had a wall thickness of seven inches, subsequently failed.
The The The

A 2-inch

falling reactor damaged air coolers and other process equipment, greatly increasing the size of the loss

ACCIDENTS IN HCU- CASE STUDIES-4


At the time of the loss, the HCU was being shut down

for maintenance and the reactor was in a hydrogen purge cycle. percent of the refinery throughput capacity, including the complete HCU production, was lost for a period of five months.
Restoration of Approx. 25

the hydro cracker itself required nearly

two years.

ACCIDENTS IN HCU- CASE STUDIES-5


March 25, 1999 Richmond, California, United States

The explosion was caused by

the failure of a valve bonnet in a HP section of a 60,000 barrels-per-day HCU cloud formed from the release, ignited, and was followed by a large fire fed by escaping hydrocarbons at high pressure.
The explosion resulted in the A vapor

collapse of a large section of pipe rack and destruction of a large fin fan cooler mounted above the rack.

ACCIDENTS IN HCU- CASE STUDIES-5

Many pumps were destroyed and a separator was badly damaged. Approximately 300 fire-fighters and 33 fire trucks participated in the two and a half hour effort to control the fire. Foam concentrate consumed totalled 3,200 gallons. The hydro cracker was out of service for 12 months.

ACCIDENTS IN HCU- CASE STUDIES-6


p.m. an effluent line from a reactor in the HCU failed , resulting in an explosion and fire. the pipe was reported as glowing red.
Reason:The line apparently ruptured due to At 7:41
January 27, 1997 Martinez, California, United States

Observation:Seconds before the explosion, a section of

excessively high temperatures, & the failure to depressurize the unit upon detection of high temperature.
The hydrocarbons apparently auto-ignited shortly after

the initial release.

ACCIDENTS IN HCU- CASE STUDIES-6


The rupture of the 12-inch effluent line was discovered on

a straight run of pipe, not at a weld.


Analysis of the failed section of pipe, at the point of

failure, indicated that the pipe had expanded in circumference by approximately 5 inches. This caused a localized bulge in the pipe prior to rupture
Loss:Approx.$80,000,000

ACCIDENTS IN HCU- CASE STUDIES-7


An explosion originating in the HCU occurred at
October 8, 1992 Wilmington, California, United States

9:43 p.m.

in this 75,000 barrels-per-day refinery six-inch carbon steel 90-degree elbow (outside radius) and release of a hydrocarbon/hydrogen mixture to the atmosphere.
The vapour cloud ignited within seconds after The explosion resulted from the rupture of a

the rupture

at an undetermined point in the plant

ACCIDENTS IN HCU- CASE STUDIES-7


This explosion, which damaged nearby buildings &

shattered windows several miles away, was recorded as a sonic boom at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, approximately 20 miles from this 350-acre refinery.
An inspection after the failure found the line at

nearly full design thickness a short distance away from the failure.

ACCIDENTS IN HCU- CASE STUDIES-7


On these facts, it was concluded that the line failure was

the result of the thinning of the Schedule 120 carbon steel elbow due to long term erosion/corrosion.
The fire was finally extinguished at

2:00 a.m. on October

11.(Approx.52 hrs.)
Loss: $96,000,000