ExxonMobil reports flaring incident

2012-12-05T11:00:00Z 2012-12-05T22:06:16Z ExxonMobil reports flaring incidentGazette Staff The Billings Gazette

Problems at a processing unit caused the ExxonMobil refinery in Lockwood to flare gases to the air last week.

Flares are safety devices used to burn off excess gases but can be significant sources of pollution.

Montana Department of Environmental Quality’s Debbie Skibicki, an environmental engineer in the air compliance section, said the refinery reported the emissions as required to the DEQ and to the state emergency duty officer on Nov. 29. The refinery also is required to follow up in seven days with a written report.

There were two problems on Nov. 29. At about 8 a.m., a problem occurred at the fluid catalytic cracker, a main processing unit, Skibicki said. A second flaring event happened at about 12:30 p.m. involving a problem with a compressor that feeds the unit, she said.

ExxonMobil reported flaring an estimated 500 pounds of sulfur dioxide and 100 pounds of hydrogen sulfide during the episodes, Skibicki said.

ExxonMobil spokeswoman Pam Malek said, “We realize flaring may cause concern among the members of our community, and we apologize for that.” 

Copyright 2015 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(7) Comments

  1. Cowboy Fred
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    Cowboy Fred - December 06, 2012 6:46 pm
    Yes they are far and few between and guess what happens if they don't go to flare? Trust me, you don't want the alternative.
  2. hallsandolr
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    hallsandolr - December 05, 2012 7:31 pm
    Does any one realize that these incidents are few and far between? These facilities are complex and every one that works there works hard to keep them running reliably.
  3. Drill Baby Drill
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    Drill Baby Drill - December 05, 2012 7:07 pm
    .....and you both keep driving your cars!!! SHUT UP!! Accidents happen...such as life and then we die.
  4. staceyronq
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    staceyronq - December 05, 2012 6:52 pm
    they pay well. thanks Exxon
  5. hockey bum
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    hockey bum - December 05, 2012 6:45 pm
    Do you put gas in your car? Im sure ur not smart enough to figure out how it gets to your car or the processes the oil goes through. If you dont like it move and ride a horse. From time to time all refineries will have flaring events
  6. rememberthefallen
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    rememberthefallen - December 05, 2012 1:40 pm
    they are not sorry, just as long as they keep making money is all that really matters.
  7. nospin
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    nospin - December 05, 2012 11:34 am
    and that's it? spewing out more poison into the air putting lungs at risk and all they have to do is report it? What is the incentive to be certain their equipment does not malfunction again? If you live in Billings you are surrounded by refineries, a city council unconcerned even about the effects 50 coal hauling trains a day passing through downtown will have on the community and a Public Service Commission with all Republicans. See utility rates go up and air quality/climate change become even more irrelevant... The Big Sky County/The Last Best Place...give me a break.

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