Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation P-77-033
Details
Synopsis: ON DECEMBER 7, 1976, A NATURAL GAS COMPRESSOR FAILED AND THEN EXPLODED AND BURNED AT AN EXXON GAS SYSTEM, INC., STATION NEAR ROBSTOWN, TEXAS. AN EMERGENCY SHUTDOWN SYSTEM WAS ACTIVATED, BUT FOUR AUTOMATED FIRE GATE VALVES DID NOT CLOSE. ANOTHER EMERGENCY CONTROL SYSTEM ALSO FAILED TO AUTOMATICALLY CLOSE THE SHUTOFF VALVES, LEADING TO TWO OF THE FIVE COMPRESSORS IN THE STATION. A SECOND EXPLOSION OCCURRED WITHIN THE BURNING BUILDING. THE FIRE KILLED ONE PERSON, INJURED TWO PERSONS, AND DESTROYED THREE ENGINE-DRIVEN COMPRESSORS AND THE COMPRESSOR BUILDING.
Recommendation: TRAIN OPERATING PERSONNEL FROM OTHER STATIONS AND OTHER NEARBY OPERATING DIVISIONS OF THE COMPANY ON THE OPERATION OF EMERGENCY TRANSMISSION LINE VALVES AND EMERGENCY STATION FIRE CONTROL VALVES. FURNISH EACH NEARBY COMPANY OFFICE THAT COULD BE EXPECTED TO HELP IN AN EMERGENCY WITH A CONTINGENCY PLAN BOOK AND DRAWINGS OF ALL OF THE FACILITIES THEY MIGHT BE EXPECTED TO OPERATE.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Pipeline
Location: Robstown, TX, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA77MP005
Accident Reports:
Exxon Gas System, Inc., Natural Gas Explosion and Fire
Report #: PAR-77-03
Accident Date: 12/7/1976
Issue Date: 10/31/1977
Date Closed: 11/21/1978
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: ExxonMobil Corporation (Closed--No Longer Applicable)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: ExxonMobil Corporation
Date: 1/5/1979
Response:

From: ExxonMobil Corporation
To: NTSB
Date: 12/20/1977
Response: LTR FROM EXXON GAS SYSTEM: TRAINING OF COMPANY PERSONNEL IN THE FUNCTIONS AND OPERATIONS OF THE EMERGENCY SHUT DOWN SYSTEMS AND PIPELINE BLOCK VALVES IN THEIR RESPECTIVE AREA IS COMPLETE AND CONTINUING FOR NEW PERSONNEL. OPERATING PROCEDURES AND DRAWINGS OF FACILITIES HAVE BEEN PROVIDED TO SOME NEARBY EXXON OFFICES MORE WILL BE DISTRIBUTED IN NEAR FUTURE. ALSO, SELECTED PERSONNEL ARE RECEIVING ON-SITE FAMILIARIZATION WITH THE EQUIPMENT ON A CONTINUING BASIS.