2016 Fire at Motiva's Convent Refinery "Was Not Avoidable" According to Internal Investigation

The Advocate, April 6, 2017

An internal investigation following the Aug. 11 fire last year at Motiva Enterprise's 230,000 bpd Convent Refinery has determined that the blaze resulted from a small valve failure that could not have been foreseen and prevented.  Company investigators blamed packing inside a 1.5-inch valve, which they said was in a "nonstandard" arrangement based on what the valve's manufacturer recommends. This packing, which is designed to seal the valve and control the flow of flammable, high temperature hydrocarbons in a pipe, broke down and was ejected, eventually sparking the fire. However, according to Motiva's report, "it is not possible to determine if this packing arrangement was the result of an improper installation or a possible manufacturing defect.


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