May 16, 2007 U.S. Chemical Safety Board

CSB Chairman Carolyn Merritt Tells House Subcommittee of "Striking Similarities" in Causes of BP Texas City Tragedy and Prudhoe Bay Pipeline Disaster

U.S. Chemical Safety Board
CSB :米化学物質安全性委員会) Chairman Carolyn W. Merritt today told members of a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee that she found "striking similarities" between the causes of the fatal BP accident in Texas City, Texas, in 2005, and the company's pipeline failure at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, in 2006 which resulted in the leakage of more than 200,000 gallons of oil. The pipeline suffered extensive corrosion due to lack of maintenance over several years.

While the CSB did not investigate the Prudhoe Bay accident, Chairman Merritt was asked by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight to review a BP internal audit of the accident completed by Booz Allen Hamilton. Chairman Merritt told the subcommittee, "Virtually all of the seven root causes identified for the Prudhoe Bay incidents have strong echoes in Texas City." These included, she said, the "significant role of budget and production pressures in driving BP's decision-making - and ultimately harming safety." The hearing, chaired by Rep. Bart Stupak (Michigan), was entitled "2006 Prudhoe Bay Shutdown: Will Recent Regulatory Changes and BP Management Reforms Prevent Future Failures?" Other panel members included representatives from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, and the pipeline and hazardous materials safety division of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Featured on a second panel was Robert. A. Malone, Chairman and President of BP America, Inc.

Chairman Merritt told the committee of further comparisons of safety culture similarities at Texas City and Prudhoe Bay. Both investigations, she said, found deficiencies in how BP managed the safety of process changes. In Prudhoe Bay, Booz Allen Hamilton found "a normalization of deviance 逸脱 where risk levels gradually crept up due to evolving operating conditions." This compared, she said, to Texas City, where at BP's refinery "Abnormal startups were not investigated and became routine, while critical equipment was allowed to decay故障. By the day of the accident, the distillation equipment 蒸留装置 had six key alarms, instruments and controls that were malfunctioning. Trailers had been moved into dangerous locations without appropriate safety reviews."

Similarly, Ms. Merritt noted BP's own internal audit findings concerning its Prudhoe Bay pipeline problems did not result in repairs or improved maintenance. Ms. Merritt quoted the company's audit as saying the findings faced "long delays in implementation, administrative documentation of close-out even though remedial actions were not actually taken, or simple non-compliance."

Other common findings at both Texas City and Prudhoe Bay included, the chairman said, "
Flawed communication of lessons learned, excessive decentralization of safety functions, and high management turnover. BP focused on personal safety statistics but allowed catastrophic process safety risks to grow."

The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents. The agency's board members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical accidents, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems.

The Board does not issue citations or fines but does make safety recommendations to plants, industry organizations, labor groups, and regulatory agencies such as OSHA and EPA. Visit our website, www.csb.gov.

2005年3月23日午後1時20分テキサス州テキサスシティーのBP テキサスシティー製油所で爆発・火災事故が起き、15名が死亡、100名以上が負傷した(内70名が従業員及び請負業者。残りが周辺住民で、飛散したガラスやタイルによる負傷)。

同製油所は、日量47万バーレルと米国3番目の生産規模の製油所で、米国内精油能力の2.8%、BP 社ガソリン生産量の30%を占める。
raffinate spliter”又はその近傍で起きた。


・アイソマーの北西コーナーにある100フィート高さのベントスタックから、炭化水素の液体と蒸気が漏れた。液体と蒸気が地表に落ちてきて爆発が起きた。爆発の起きた時に、アイソマーの修理を終えて、raffinate splitter を再スタートしていた。ベントスタックは、raffinate splitter 蒸留カラムの圧力逃し装置に接続していた。




2006年8月28日 http://knak.cocolog-nifty.com/blog/2006/08/bpstandard_oil_379d.html


同油田はBPがConocoPhillips、ExxonMobil と所有権を共同保有するもので、日量40万バレル、米国内原油生産量の約8%を占める。


同油田はアラスカの北側のプルドー湾にあり、1968年に確認された北米最大の油田。Trans-Alaska-Pipeline が1977年に完成、プルドー湾からアラスカを縦断してバルディーズ港までの800miles を輸送する。