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Sonat Exploration Co. Catastrophic Vessel Overpressurization
FINAL REPORT: Final Investigation Report
Location: Pitkin, LA
Accident Occurred On: 03/04/1998
Final Report Released On: 09/21/2000
Accident Type: Oil and Refining - Fire and Explosion
Company Name: Sonat Exploration Co.

statistics

Total # of Recommendations
5
Total # of Open Recommendations
0
Total # of Closed Recommendations
5
Total % of Open 0 vs. Closed 100

investigation information

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Accident Description
At approximately 6:15 p.m. on March 4, 1998, a catastrophic vessel failure and fire occurred near Pitkin, Louisiana, at the Temple 22-1 Common Point Separation Facility owned by Sonat Exploration Co. Four workers who were near the vessel were killed, and the facility sustained significant damage. The vessel lacked a pressure relief system and ruptured due to overpressurization during start-up, releasing flammable material which ignited.
Investigation Status
The final report on this investigation was approved on September 21, 2000.


 

Recommendations

American Petroleum Institute (API)
1998-002-I-LA-4

Develop and issue recommended practice guidelines governing the safe start-up and operation of oil and gas production facilities. Ensure that the guidelines address, at a minimum, the following: project design review processes, including hazard analyses; written operating procedures; employee and contractor training; and pressure-relief requirements for all equipment exposed to pressure hazards.

Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Closed - Acceptable Action (C - AA) - The recipient has completed action on the recommendation. The action taken meets the objectives envisioned by the Board.
 

1998-002-I-LA-5

Communicate the findings of this report to your membership.

Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Closed - Acceptable Action (C - AA) - The recipient has completed action on the recommendation. The action taken meets the objectives envisioned by the Board.
 

El Paso Production Company
1998-002-I-LA-1

Institute a formal engineering design review process for all oil and gas production facilities,following good engineering practices and including analyses of process hazards.

Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Closed - Acceptable Action (C - AA) - The recipient has completed action on the recommendation. The action taken meets the objectives envisioned by the Board.
 

1998-002-I-LA-2

Implement a program to ensure that all oil and gas production equipment that is potentially subject to overpressurization is equipped with adequate pressure-relief systems, and audit compliance with the program.

Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Closed - Acceptable Action (C - AA) - The recipient has completed action on the recommendation. The action taken meets the objectives envisioned by the Board.
 

1998-002-I-LA-3

Develop written operating procedures for oil and gas production facilities and implement programs to ensure that all workers, including contract employees, are trained in the use of the procedures. Ensure the procedures address, at a minimum, purging and start-up operations and provide information on process-related hazards.

Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Closed - Acceptable Action (C - AA) - The recipient has completed action on the recommendation. The action taken meets the objectives envisioned by the Board.
 

 
 
 
 
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