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Risk Management in Practice - Coursework Example

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This paper aims to compare and contrast the two cases (explosion at BP USA Texas City Refinery and explosion at the UK Buncefield Oil Storage Depot) and provide a critical analysis of the causes of the incidents, the responses to them, the common themes and lessons learned…
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Risk Management in Practice
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Download file to see previous pages On March 23, 2005, the isomerization unit (ISOM) of the refinery was restarted after a maintenance outage. This was done via the raffinate splitter in the ISOM, which is a distillation tower that takes raffinate-a hydrocarbon mixture- and separates it into the light and heavy components (US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, 2007). As it was being turned on, operations personnel overfilled the raffinate splitter for over three hours with flammable liquid hydrocarbons, contrary to startup protocols. Control instrumentation and critical alarms failed to give warning to the operators of the critical danger in the tower. As the tower overfilled, liquid sipped into the overhead pipe at the top of the tower. Pressure relief devices opened and a flammable liquid geyser resulted from a blowdown stack that was antiquated and had no flare system. The released flammables caused an explosion and fire. 15 employees died as a result of the incident and extensive damage was caused in surrounding areas. The Buncefield oil storage depot is a reservoir farm with various oil operating sites within such as Hertfordshire Oil Storage Limited (HOSL), British Pipeline Agency Ltd (BPA) and BP Oil UK Ltd. On December 2005, Tank 912 belonging to the Hertfordshire Oil Storage Limited (HOSL) site was getting filled with petrol. The tank was equipped with a level control form meant to alert employees of levels that the tank reached during filling. This control was an automatic tank gauging system (ATG) that displayed the rising levels of fuel to employees in a control room. The ATG malfunctioned and stopped registering rising fuel levels although the tank continued to fill up. Consequently, staff in the control room was not alerted as critical levels in the tank and eventually copious amounts of fuel overflowed from the top of the tank, forming a vapor cloud. This cloud ignited and caused a fire that lasted for five days. Over 40 people got injured and severe damage caused to surrounding areas (MIIB, 2008).  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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