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Posts on ‘August 31st, 2017’

Shell, Exxon say some pollution released as storm hits Texas

Pollutants have been released from refineries operated by Exxon, Shell and other companies as torrential rains damaged storage tanks and other industrial facilities on the Texas Coast.

Shell told state regulators this week that a floating roof over a tank at its oil refinery in Deer Park, Texas, partially sank during the heavy rainfall. The company said 100 pounds of benzene and 100 pounds of toluene were released.

A similar event happened at Exxon Mobil Corp.’s refinery in Baytown, Texas. David Gray, a spokesman for the Environmental Protection Agency, said the company reported the release of 15 pounds of benzene. The EPA classifies benzene as a carcinogen. Toluene, a solvent, is less toxic.

A Shell spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“This is an unprecedented storm, and we have taken every effort to minimize emissions and safely shut down equipment,” said Exxon spokeswoman Charlotte Huffaker. She said the Irving, Texas-based company was monitoring emission levels and was committed to complying with environmental laws. read more

Shell staff return to Gulf of Mexico platform after Harvey: sources

AUGUST 30, 2017 / 6:16 PM

LONDON (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) staff have returned to a major oil and gas platform in the Gulf of Mexico in preparation to restart production one week after its shutdown due to Hurricane Harvey, industry sources said on Wednesday.

A small team was airlifted to the Perdido platform and is currently assessing conditions to understand when production can be resumed, the sources said.

Perdido, operated by Shell, was shut down on Aug. 23 ahead of Hurricane Harvey’s arrival. The hub, the second deepest in the Gulf of Mexico, normally produces around 100,000 barrels per day of oil and gas. read more

Lawsuit accuses Shell of discharging pollutants in Providence River

By Alex Kuffner: Journal Staff Writer: Posted Aug 30, 2017 

PROVIDENCE — One of the region’s leading environmental groups has filed a lawsuit in federal court that accuses fossil fuel giant Shell of violating the federal Clean Water Act by discharging toxic pollutants into the Providence River from its storage terminal on the Fields Point waterfront.

The Conservation Law Foundation also alleges that the multinational corporation headquartered in the Netherlands — the second-largest oil and gas company in the world — has failed to take adequate steps to protect the facility from rising waters caused by climate change and a projected increase in the frequency of coastal storms and rain events. read more

Cracker plant critics pleased with air pollution agreement

By Daveen Rae Kurutz [email protected]: 31 August 2017

POTTER TWP. — Local critics who wanted Shell Chemicals to increase monitoring of air pollution are pleased with a settlement agreement that will create a fence-line monitoring system.

Terrie Baumgardner, a member of the Beaver County Marcellus Awareness Committee, said the move shows that Shell officials listened to the 750 people who signed a petition objecting to the lack of fence-line monitoring in Shell’s plan to build a $6 billion ethane cracker plant in Potter Township. read more

Storm Harvey: Shell boss takes stock of disruption

Shell boss Ben Van Beurden says Storm Harvey is a “major event” for the industry and the firm’s staff in Texas.

Shell, which has its US base in the Texas city of Houston, has put some of its staff in emergency homes and closed two major facilities.

The storm, which earlier achieved hurricane status, has ripped through the US energy industry in the region.

However, Mr Van Beurden thinks the tropical storm will not have a major impact on its US oil production.

Large parts of Houston are under water, and more than 20 people are reported dead.

Thousands of people there have fled their homes in search of emergency shelter after record rainfall caused severe flooding.

The Shell chief executive said: “We’ve all seen the pictures. Many, many of our people – as with others as well – have been displaced… We’ve had to put people up in temporary accommodation.” read more

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