Skip to Main Content

An independent federal agency investigating chemical accidents to protect workers, the public, and the environment.

Text Size AA
PRINT PAGE
Valero Refinery Propane Fire
FINAL REPORT: Valero Refinery Propane Fire
Location: Sunray, TX
Accident Occurred On: 02/16/2007
Final Report Released On: 07/09/2008
Accident Type: Oil and Refining - Fire and Explosion
Company Name: Valero

statistics

Total # of Recommendations
12
Total # of Open Recommendations
6
Total # of Closed Recommendations
6
Total % of Open 50 vs. Closed 50

investigation information

Image
Accident Description
On February 16, 2007, a propane fire erupted at the Valero McKee Refinery in Sunray, Texas, north of Amarillo. Three workers suffered serious burns, and the refinery was forced to shut down. The fire began following a leak in the propane deasphalting unit and spread quickly, in part because of the rapid collapse of a major pipe rack carrying flammable hydrocarbons. Some of the rack's support columns had not been fireproofed.
Investigation Status
The CSB's final report was issued at a news conference in Amarillo, Texas, on July 9, 2008.


 

Recommendations

American Petroleum Institute (API)
2007-5-I-TX-1

Issue API-recommended practices for freeze protection in oil refinery process units that include, as a minimum: -the establishment of a written program; -periodic inspections to identify freeze hazards in dead-legs or infrequently used piping and equipment where water could collect; -specific approaches to eliminate or protect against such freeze hazards; and -identification of infrequently used piping or equipment subject to freezing as a trigger for Management Of Change (MOC) reviews.

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.
 

Download
2007-5-I-TX-2

Revise API 2218, Fireproofing Practices in Petroleum and Petrochemical Processing Plants, so that conformance with the standard addresses jet fire scenarios, and requires more protective fireproofing radii and other measures (e.g., emergency isolation valves, depressuring systems) for pipe rack support steel near process units containing highly pressurized flammables.

Status: Open - Acceptable Response or Alternate Response
Open - Acceptable Response or Alternate Response (O - ARAR) - Response from recipient indicates a planned action that would satisfy the objective of the recommendation when implemented.
 

2007-5-I-TX-3

Revise API Recommended Practice 2001, Fire Protection in Refineries, and API 2030, Application of Fixed Water Spray Systems for Fire Protection in the Petroleum Industry, so that conformance with these recommended practices includes the design, installation, and use of ROSOVs and interlocked equipment controls to enable the safe and rapid emergency isolation of process equipment containing highly pressurized flammables.

Status: Open - Acceptable Response or Alternate Response
Open - Acceptable Response or Alternate Response (O - ARAR) - Response from recipient indicates a planned action that would satisfy the objective of the recommendation when implemented.
 

2007-5-I-TX-4

Revise API Standard 2510, Design and Construction of LPG Installations, and API Publication 2510A, Fire-Protection Considerations for the Design and Operation of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Storage Facilities, to address effective deluge system activation during emergencies originating in nearby process units.

Status: Open - Acceptable Response or Alternate Response
Open - Acceptable Response or Alternate Response (O - ARAR) - Response from recipient indicates a planned action that would satisfy the objective of the recommendation when implemented.
 

United Steelworkers of America (USWA)
2007-5-I-TX-10

Work together to benchmark effective PHA methods and practices and implement improvements to the McKee Refinery PHA program, including: -involving the workforce in PHA preparation, performance, and follow-up; -training participants; -conducting PHA quality control checks; and -following up on recommendations for timely implementation and appropriate close-out.

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.
 

Download
USW Local 13-487
2007-5-I-TX-10

Work together to benchmark effective PHA methods and practices and implement improvements to the McKee Refinery PHA program, including: -involving the workforce in PHA preparation, performance, and follow-up; -training participants; -conducting PHA quality control checks; and -following up on recommendations for timely implementation and appropriate close-out.

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.
 

Download
Valero Energy Corporation
2007-5-I-TX-5

Identify all processes in this and other refineries where Valero's mandatory Emergency Isolation Valve standard is applicable, and ensure that Remotely Operable Shut-off Valves (ROSOVs) are installed to control large accidental releases of flammable materials.

Status: Open - Acceptable Response or Alternate Response
Open - Acceptable Response or Alternate Response (O - ARAR) - Response from recipient indicates a planned action that would satisfy the objective of the recommendation when implemented.
 

2007-5-I-TX-6

Establish corporate requirements for written freeze protection programs at Valero refineries subject to freezing temperatures, including identification, mitigation, MOC, and audit requirements.

Status: Open - Acceptable Response or Alternate Response
Open - Acceptable Response or Alternate Response (O - ARAR) - Response from recipient indicates a planned action that would satisfy the objective of the recommendation when implemented.
 

2007-5-I-TX-7

Revise Valero standards, including Fire Proofing Specifications, to require evaluation of jet fire scenarios and, as a minimum, ensure more protective fireproofing for pipe rack support steel near process units containing highly pressurized flammables.

Status: Open - Awaiting Response or Evaluation/Approval of Response
Open - Awaiting Response or Evaluation/Approval of Response (O - ARE/AR) - The recipient has not submitted a substantive response, or the evaluation by CSB staff of a response is pending, or the Board has not yet acted on staff recommendation of status.
 

2007-5-I-TX-8

Audit PHA performance at its refineries to ensure adherence to company standards and good practice guidelines.

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.
 

Download
2007-5-I-TX-9

Implement Valero's strategic plan to replace chlorine used as a biocide in cooling water treatment with inherently safer materials, such as sodium hypochlorite, at all refineries.

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.
 

Valero McKee Refinery
2007-5-I-TX-10

Work together to benchmark effective PHA methods and practices and implement improvements to the McKee Refinery PHA program, including: -involving the workforce in PHA preparation, performance, and follow-up; -training participants; -conducting PHA quality control checks; and -following up on recommendations for timely implementation and appropriate close-out.

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.
 

Download
 
 

Related Video

Fire from Ice
7/9/2008 6:00:00 PM
Fire cripples a refinery after propane leaks from a frozen dead leg. read more

Download QuickTime Video

Related News

firefromice
CSB Determines Massive Propane Fire at Valero Refinery in Sunray, Texas, Resulted from Water Freezing and Cracking Idle Section of Process Piping; New Safety Video Released
7/9/2008
A massive fire that injured four workers and caused the total shutdown and evacuation of the Valero McKee Refinery in Sunray, Texas, in February 2007 likely occurred after water leaked through a valve, froze, and cracked an out-of-service section of piping, causing a release of high-pressure liquid propane, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) said in a final investigation report issued today.
read more
Camera_10_Initial_Fire_001_0001
CSB to Conduct Full Investigation of Valero McKee Refinery Fire, Field Team Returns to Washington to Analyze Evidence
3/9/2007
The U.S. Chemical Safety Board today announced it is conducting a full investigation of the propane fire that occurred February 16 at the Valero McKee Refinery here, seriously burning three workers and forcing the shutdown of the facility.
read more

Related Photo Galleries

 
 
© csb.gov. All rights reserved