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Texas City Explosion.com
Brent Coon & Associates

"10 Vital Questions"

Q1: The Texas City Refinery of British Petroleum
Question: All of the calls to action, promises made and changes in process safety since the explosion boil down to one overarching question - is this a safer place to work today than 5 years ago? What has happened to improve the environment, to change the culture and to follow through in executing the promises made?

Jim Lefton
Sub Director, Sub District 1
District 13
USW International Union

BPTC is the 3rd largest refinery in the US, with a production capacity of 475,000 bpd.

Has an economic impact of over $20 billion on the Texas economy and is the largest employer/tax payer in Galveston County.

Let me highlight some of the changes made at the refinery since March 23,2005;
Over $1 billion invested and over 60 million work hours to accomplish the following:

  • Entire 27 miles of steam system renovated
  • Isolated or removed all blowdown stacks in light hydrocarbon service (11 removed)
  • Constructed and installed new flare systems (4 new installed, with 441 relief valves connected to the new systems)
  • Removed more than 200 temporary structures
  • Inspected and repaired more than 275,000 linear feet of piping
  • Conducted more than 44,000 radiographs
  • Installed wet gas scrubber on cat cracking unit and new frac tower on Cat 3
  • Complete rebuild of PS3B, Cat 1 and repositioning of Alky units
  • New site wide transportation system reducing the total number of vehicles allowed in the refinery
  • Opened Texas City office, which moved 400 workers offsite
  • Built new Employee Services Building with lockers, medical, training and USW offices

A new control of work system has been established which addresses many shortcomings identified in the accident investigation reports, including improved shift handovers, pre start up safety reviews and operator training prior to unit commissioning, weekly management led site safety awareness meetings and implementing the USW Triangle of Prevention (TOP) incident investigation program.

 

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