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Total Port Arthur refinery steam unit shut -filing

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posted on Dec, 3 2011 @ 10:42 AM
This story is actually a few days old, but it took me until last night to have the time to be able to transfer these photos (see below) to my PC and resize them so that the ATS upload site would accept them. 

Reuters Africa reports:

HOUSTON Nov 24 (Reuters) - A major steam-producing unit at Total Petrochemicals 232,000 barrel per day (bpd) Port Arthur, Texas, refinery shut down on Thursday, according to a notice the refinery filed with Texas pollution regulators.  

The loss of the unit triggered flaring at the refinery, according to the notice filed with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.  

Steam is used to generate electrical power and for crude oil distillation in the petroleum refining process.  

Related ATS threads:

BPs Texas City refinery has lost power...

Emissions data hazy after power failures

Report a power outage here

Other related news articles:

NOVEMBER 26, 2011, 9:44 P.M. ET Total USA Reports Steam-Unit Shutdown At Port Arthur, Texas Refinery


The report to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said coker flare No. 30 was utilized starting at around 7:38 a.m. Thursday and refinery personnel had instituted steam-shedding procedures to minimize emissions.
emphasis mine

I think it's time for those pictures now (click thumbnails to enlarge):

Zoomed in 6x (max for iPhone):

These two photos were taken from the San Leon spillway. The following were all taken from Skyline Drive, next to the Texas City Dike:

And then apparently there was another incident a few days later, these pictures were taken from Seawall Blvd, on Galveston Island:

These two photos don't really show it well, but the plume stretched from one end of the horizon to the other, so the emissions had been ongoing for quite some time. 

Now of all of these plumes are the results of their procedures to "minimize emissions," I really don't want to think about what these plumes would have looked like had they not instituted those actions. 

edit on 3-12-2011 by jadedANDcynical because: Changed tags

posted on Dec, 4 2011 @ 11:59 AM
And a a story earlier in the month shows when one of the other plumes was visible (this was from a time when my phone had been misplaced and I was without the means to capture the images, but they were essentially the same as the ones in my prior post) from across Galveston Bay:

NOVEMBER 13, 2011, 9:23 A.M. ET Valero Reports Flaring At Port Arthur Refinery - Filing

HOUSTON (Dow Jones)--Valero Energy Corp. (VLO) reported emissions Saturday at its refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, according to a government filing made public Sunday.

The 292,000 barrel-a-day refinery flared hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide because of a valve leak, according to Valero's filing with the National Response Center. The flaring will continue for several days, according to the filing.

A Valero spokesman was not immediately available. -By Ben Lefebvre, Dow Jones Newswires; 713-547-9201;

With the flaring continuing "for several days," producing a plume of hydrocarbon by products (which includes all sorts of nasties) that, while useful when in proper applications, do nothing good for the environment when released.

And another thing to keep in mind is that his is. It the same refinery, but a different plant entirely from the ones in the stories contained in my first post.


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