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BP's Texas City refinery has lost power...

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posted on Apr, 26 2011 @ 03:03 PM
Wait a sec....let me get this straight. The major supplier for electricity in Texas, and the main power supply for the oil refinery is stating that it is not sure what caused it, but they are going to take a 'pro active' approach by sending out teams to clean off the equipment since the rain isn't doing it for them? I would think that part of owning and operating a multi billion dollar company that could ultimately cause multiple refineries to possibly explode putting thousands of lives at risk would be responsible enough to perform routine maintenance, such as what is being described.

We aren't talking about Walmart having flickering lights here....this is major. By doing a simple google search it becomes obvious that this is an on-going problem dating from events earlier this month to several years ago. These lame excuses are absolutely ridiculous and I can't believe that anyone who has anything to do with the safety of your community would ever accept it!!!!

posted on Apr, 26 2011 @ 03:17 PM
My daughters go to school in Dickinson and we've had no school closings. Dickinson is about 10 miles Northwest of Texas City, so whatever is happening over there seems to be fairly localized at the moment. I will try and make a point to watch the local snooze, er, um, I mean "news", to see what is mentioned about it.

posted on Apr, 26 2011 @ 03:22 PM
reply to post by westcoast

Texas New Mexico Power co says:

“It is possible these other events were triggered by similar conditions, but we cannot speak to their causes since it didn’t occur on our equipment,” Garber said.


Each of the refineries has at leat one sub station onsite which is not maintained by TNMP but rather by each refinery directly. It's thought that this is the equipment that had the problem.

I say it's very suspicious that all the plants had the problem at the same time if it's onsite and not on the "external" grid.

posted on Apr, 26 2011 @ 03:25 PM
reply to post by stupid girl

Yeah, it wouldn't likely have any effect that far out. And the shelter order has been lifted, so we are back to (relative) safe conditions at the moment.

Several of my wife's FB friends work at one plant or a other and one of them mentioned a possible benzine spill but I have not seen any mention of that in any of the news reports I've read so far. When she eta home from work I'll see I there's any update on that.

posted on Apr, 26 2011 @ 03:42 PM
Oil refineries are like big moonshine stills ... That is to say that same way that bears are just like big dogs, but in that they are 'distilling' petroleum (crude on the bottom of the stack jet fuel on top) at high temperature and pressure (if memory serves ) that venting (the implication being that they are avoiding explosive still pressure;-) at multiple plants seems odd. Especially at night when it's highly visible, at plants that seem to have lots of electrical lights for having lost power ( the implications either way not being great ) .

Dry weather and power loss seems pretty thin soup, transformers do have fluid in them that occasionally get 'dried-up' ( especially if was accidentally shot with a 22 in the dry dry desert air, but I digress ) , but this either means a series of very odd failures in the grid, combined with multiple back-up safety failures at multiple points in the refineries, or something else ...

That rumble could have been a harmonic created by those tall stacks sucking air at one end and burning it at the other ( harmonic equilibrium , over a small oscillation range with a long wavelength ) is reached and while not quite being a PULSE jet:

Is similar for harmonic oscillation , just image that jar 40 or 50 feet tall.

A question how does the plant receive the oil/gas it is refining? by pipeline or is it drilled locally ? or?

posted on Apr, 26 2011 @ 04:46 PM
reply to post by Silverlok

I believe a combination but mostly piped in; there are a few wells around but ml it many. There is also a good amount of traffic in the Port of Texas City that is all tanker ships. At least I've never seen any cargo offloaded there.

As to the lights being on, I though there was something funny abotghe video when I watched it but couldn't quite put my finger on it. Is it possible that they had generators for backup power for lights but not sufficient for whatever process it is used for in the actual refining of the oil?

posted on Apr, 26 2011 @ 05:43 PM
reply to post by jadedANDcynical

Seems like back up power for the fuel processing/ shut down would take president over parking lots and lots and of outside lighting.

The whole thing just seems like a dodge, Thermalrunaway, seems to be the main reason for venting ( though it would seem nasties always get a chance to go for a walk-about at these times), but the if we have multiple (on plants not all linked on the same safety system ) venting, then a common cause would seem to be in order , electricity seems like complete crap ( too implausible ) , baring the weird, where did BP take that 'recovered' oil from the gulf spill .

I suspect that may be our cause . Unsuspected things in the oil causing trouble, perhaps the seawater content could not be culled enough and unintentionals like sulfonium chloride, cause a hiccup . It would explain the timing ( new oil injection from common tanks ) . just a shot in the dark

posted on Apr, 26 2011 @ 07:25 PM
Well well well, more instrumentation that doesn't go high enoughto measure the range of contaminants it's designed to look for:

TEXAS CITY, Texas – A state agency said air quality monitor readings in Texas City were too high for their instruments to measure around 8 a.m. Tuesday.

This doesn't quite jive wih the "no risk to health" mantra we've heard so much of lately.

"Maximum readings taken by TCEQ staff were in excess of the instruments measurement capability (greater than 999 ppm VOC), therefore we cannot quantify the readings during the shelter in place period," they said in a written statement late Tuesday.

Now where else have I beard something similar?

That's right! At the nuclear plant in Japan. Radiation detectors were pegged at their maximum values.

Why is it that we're being exposed to pollutants at levels that the devices engineered for ghat purpose are unable to read? is it because the contaminants they're meant to register are present in such concentration that the sensors are being overwhelmeed or are the sensors themselves not properly calibrated?

Source for above quotes

posted on Apr, 26 2011 @ 09:22 PM
TX City chemical levels too high to be read by equipment. Video

posted on Apr, 26 2011 @ 10:32 PM
My husband said that UTMB sent out a "First Alert" call this morning around 10 am advising that a stretch of Hwy 146 was closed. To his knowledge, that same stretch was still closed at the time he got off work this evening around 7 pm. He also said that most of the public schools in TX City were closed today. We are about 15 miles from Texas City and I asked him if we had anything to worry about, and most importantly, if we had anything to worry about with our children going to school tomorrow and he said most likely not. Especially in light of the fact of this monster crazy wind we've had going on for about a week now. It's about to drive me crazy because I can hear it all day long blowing around the house and making that annoying whistling sound.

posted on Apr, 26 2011 @ 11:01 PM
reply to post by stupid girl

Your husband is correct in that you are unlikely to experience any ill effects from this incident. The wind has been blowing like crazy for several days now; making my wind chimes really sing lately.

Here's the first bit I've run across that states exactly what was released at any of the plants:

By Tuesday evening, only Valero's data showed up on a TCEQ database, reporting release of an estimated 43,000 pounds of sulfur dioxide from emergency and startup flaring. Sulfur dioxide can react with other compounds to form ultrafine particles, which are associated with heart and lung disease.


I wonder what else was let off during the unplanned flaring?

ETA: TCISD will be holding classes as normal tomorrow. The TAKS testing schedule will be bumped forward one day to accommodate for the missed day today.
edit on 26-4-2011 by jadedANDcynical because: School info added

posted on Apr, 27 2011 @ 08:23 AM
reply to post by jadedANDcynical

Wasn't it a BP plant that lost power in the first place?
And Valero is the first to issue any type of helpful report to the local public?


Here is a link to an article and accompanying video. Hopefully this isn't a duplicate post on your thread:

Galveston Daily News

Here's the video about cleaning the insulators which they suspect was/is the culprit of the power loss:

Texas-New Mexico Power employees were busy cleaning "contaminated insulators" which are equipment that are covered in salt and dirt and run the risk of knocking power out. Those lines are suspected of causing a widespread power outage in Texas City that forced most of the community's refineries and chemical plants to shut down units.

*the video picture doesn't show, but the links at the bottom of the frame will take you to the vids on you tube. I have no idea why the picture of the vid won't show up & I'm not fooling with it anymore.
edit on 27-4-2011 by stupid girl because: you tube video link

posted on Apr, 27 2011 @ 08:36 AM
Sulfur Dioxide is what is primarily released from volcanoes.

Sulfur Dioxide

Inhaling it= BAD:

Inhaling sulfur dioxide is associated with increased respiratory symptoms and disease, difficulty in breathing, and premature death.

Eating it= apparently NOT SO BAD (?? wth ??)

In the United States, the Center for Science in the Public Interest lists the two food preservatives, sulfur dioxide and sodium bisulfate, as being safe for human consumption except for certain individuals who may be sensitive to it, especially in large amounts

Also of note:

Sulfur dioxide is a major air pollutant and has significant impacts upon human health. In addition the concentration of sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere can influence the habitat suitability for plant communities as well as animal life. Sulfur dioxide emissions are a precursor to acid rain and atmospheric particulates.


posted on Apr, 27 2011 @ 03:28 PM
reply to post by stupid girl

The first video is the same one I posted back in my first update post, but that's ok if it got posted again. The second one, I had not seen yet as I've been busy with work, home and the Japanese nuclear crisis thread. both videos showed up fine in the post. I think they show without a picture when you "preview" the post before sending it.

Thank you for the updates.

posted on Apr, 27 2011 @ 06:45 PM

NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- BP PLC (BP, BP.LN) said Wednesday that the restart of its oil refinery in Texas City, Texas, has not gotten under way because reliable power supply is not yet available. The entire plant was taken off line late Monday into Tuesday following overnight power outages.

In addition is this:

BP's Texas City on-site co-generation facility is operational, and could produce more than enough power to run the massive 475,000 barrels-a-day Texas City refinery, but the company will not resume production until a redundant, stable and reliable supply of power is available from TNMP, BP spokesman Scott Dean said.


I don't think I ever knew the BP had an electricity generating station on-site, but ingress it makes more sense than buying from the public grid, they bought the plant from Amoco so it probably had the ability from the beginning. I haven't really researched these particular plants much, so a lot of detail and finer nuances escape my observation.

What I want to know is this:

• We've had droughts before that have lasted as long or longer than our current one. How is I they have not had this issue prior to now?

• Would this not be part of a regular inspection?

•. How is it that all of these different refineries go down at nearly the same time?

posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 09:10 AM

By T.J. Aulds
The Daily News Published April 28, 2011

Power outages continued to vex petrochemical facilities Wednesday, a day the city’s main oil refineries and chemical plants all lost power.

Looks like it's not quite over folks. And it also looks like initial estimations that TNMP was faultless in this situation were incorrect:

Texas-New Mexico Power is the primary electrical provider for Texas City. After at first blaming the internal electrical equipment at the chemical plants and refineries for Monday’s outages, company officials eventually acknowledged problems that are contributing to the outages.

And here we have at least one city official making a good point:

Texas City Mayor Matt Doyle accused Texas-New Mexico Power of being lax in its maintenance and called for an investigation into the company’s maintenance operations.

It doesn't stop there either, our state representative is also onthenislndnwith case:

On Wednesday, state Rep. Craig Eiland, D-Galveston, whose district includes Texas City, sent a letter to Pauline Moore, the regional manager for Texas-New Mexico, and spoke with the Public Utility Commission.

In it, he demanded answers to what the company was doing to prevent future outages.

“The problem could have been avoided by simply power washing the lines to ensure that there was no build up of salt,” Eiland wrote in his letter. “The loss of power is capable of causing serious harm to workers, the environment and a significant risk of fire to homes.”

Sounds like these two, at least, are asking some togh and direct questions. Good ol' Texas directness wih no apologies for hurting someone's feelings.

The government of Japan could use a Texan or three to help wrangle Tepco into submission rather than being gored by the bull.

This bit struck me as a bit odd though:

BP’s also is delaying the restart of units at its 475,000 barrel per day Texas City refinery because of unreliable electrical power. While its on-site Houston Green Power co-generation plant could supply all the electricity the refinery needs, the company won’t restart until power delivery from Texas-New Mexico is stable, Marr said.

If they have an on-site generating station that produces sufficient power, indeed a surplus as the article states, why do they need to ensure a stable outside source?

Source for above quotes

posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 09:17 AM
God I hate BP.

Anyway...why are all of these power facilities having issues recently? There was one in GA last week and Spain before that, I think. My mind always turns to the sun or stuxnet.

posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 02:29 PM
reply to post by jadedANDcynical

Somethings amiss. I wonder if the oddball back to back quakes in an area that does not usually get quakes plays into this some how?

4.1 2011/04/28 04:58:35 30.704 -105.762 10.0 66 km ( 41 mi) S of Fort Hancock, TX
4.3 2011/04/28 01:03:42 30.775 -105.729 10.2 58 km ( 36 mi) SW of Sierra Blanca, TX


posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 02:50 PM
Was just about to post this from IRIS

28-APR-2011 04:58:35 30.70 -105.76 4.1 10.0 TEXAS-MEXICO BORDER REGION
28-APR-2011 01:03:42 30.78 -105.73 4.3 10.2 TEXAS-MEXICO BORDER REGION

Tennesee also had nuke plants shut down due to power outages from storms. This is getting creepy

UPDATE 3-Storms knock out TVA nuclear units, power lines

Nevada still has a really odd sequence of quakes near Hawthorn on an unknown fault

edit on 28-4-2011 by zorgon because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 02:50 PM
reply to post by Anmarie96

I highly doubt it, while indeed I agree that those are oddly located quakes, they are 800.7 miles away, according to google maps. So not too likely to have had mch effect here; Texas is really big folks, it's it just a saying.



TEXAS CITY — More than 89,000 pounds of sulfur dioxide and about 1,000 pounds of benzene were estimated to have been released by two refineries during a 24 hour period following a massive power outage that led to excessive flaring at Texas City’s major industrial complexes Monday night and Tuesday morning.

Benzene=teh bad

And stupid girl (who obviously isn't) pointed out how harmful sulphur dioxide is already, so we have what looks like a double whammy.

Ah, here we go:

Sulfur dioxide is known to react with other compounds to form particles associated with heart and lung disease.

That just makes me feel all warm and cozy.

Those figures, found in the initial reports to the state’s environmental regulatory agency BP and Valero, are expected to go higher as company officials compile detailed data of the emissions.


“We expect the numbers to be much different when we file our final report,” Valero spokesman Fred Newhouse said.

For example, Valero’s report covers only its flaring incident from 4:30 a.m. to 7:40 a.m. A secondary filing goes from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., but that was an estimate of how much would be released during what company officials thought would be a quick restart.

All of this sounds hauntingly familiar..

Seems like BP is handing out pages from it's playbook to everyone, Tepco, Valero and others all seem to sound the same when talking in public about accidents.

State environmental investigators, however, reported the air monitors were unable to accurately measure what was being released into the air and in what quantities because the readings for volatile organic compounds were so high.

Air quality testers maxed out, Geiger counters in Japan pegged.

Is it just me or are we poisoning our world faster than we can measure?


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