UpdateLeak has no production effect at US ExxonMobil JV refinery

04 April 2013 22:43  [Source: ICIS news]

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HOUSTON (ICIS)--ExxonMobil said on Thursday that production was not impacted by a leak that was reported early on Wednesday at its Chalmette refinery in Louisiana, a joint venture with Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA.

“The condensate water from the flare system was related to the leak that was detected and quickly stopped on Wednesday evening,” said Rachael Moore, a spokesperson with ExxonMobil’s downstream business.

“We are still working to confirm calculations of the amount of the release [of liquid material],” she added.

The US Coast Guard said on Thursday it is investigating reports of an odour in the New Orleans area in Louisiana and believes the source could the Chalmette refinery.

According to the Coast Guard, the investigation is still ongoing, and the company quickly stopped the leak, which was contained to a unit at the refinery.

 “Air monitoring was initiated immediately upon discovery, and all monitoring throughout the incident has indicated no detection of SO2 [sulphur dioxide], H2S [hydrogen sulphide] or VOC [volatile organic compound] emissions immediately beyond the vicinity of the leak source or at the fenceline,” the Coast Guard said.

The company is working with the Coast Guard and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality to evaluate all potential sources of the odour.

“We apologise to neighbours for any inconvenience this leak incident may have caused,” said Janet Matsushita, plant manager at Chalmette Refining. “The health and safety of neighbours, community and employees are our top priority.”

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By: Tracy Dang
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