PVGas Ca Mau safely handles incident of PM3 gas pipeline system

15:24 | 02/06/2018 Companies

(VEN) - For the first time since the operation of PM3 Ca Mau gas pipeline system in 2007, on May 7th 2018, the system has experienced a gas exhaust with small amount of heavy hydrocarbons in liquid form dispersed. However, in a very short time, the incident was safely and effectively handled by PVGas Ca Mau which is in charge of management and transport of the system.

pvgas ca mau safely handles incident of pm3 gas pipeline system
The PM3-Ca Mau gas pipeline system

Rare event handled quickly and effectively

On May 7th 2018, the above-mentioned incident at PM3 Ca Mau gas pipeline system (from the Bunga Raya Platform to the Ca Mau gas distribution center) occurred when the air compressor at the Landfall Station (LFS) was turned off for maintenance work. During the shutdown process of the air compressor, it was compulsory for the gas to be discharged out to the cold-vent at LFS in about 10 minutes (about 100 kg) according to design and operating principles of equipment approved by state management agencies. The main components of natural gas are: saturated hydrocarbons, inert gas (N2, CO2), accounting for 99.6 percent in form of colorless, odorless, non-toxic gas and lighter than the air, while the rest is a small amount of heavy hydrocarbon featuring smell of petrol. The discharge of these components is allowed as it does not affect the surrounding area. However, this is the first time since 2007 that this process experienced a disperse of a small amount of heavy hydrocarbons in liquid form. The cause of this incident was due to the unstable operation of the gas exploitation system that produced heavy hydrocarbons in liquid form, and then was swept away during the gas discharge.

Until midday of May 8 2018, the maintenance process was completed, the compressor was restarted and put into normal operation. The heavy hydrocarbon was released into the environment in small amount and for only a short period of time, and also quickly dispersed to a high altitude with almost no significant impacts. However, to ensure safety and environmental protection in residential areas, immediately after the incident occured, PVGas Ca Mau actively coordinated with local authorities to determine impacts of the incident. They confirmed that there was a small impact in the radius of about 300 meters in Northwest direction of the LFS, on some short-term crops of the local residents, but no impacts on both on-land and underwater creatures.

Therefore, the inspection team concluded that the impacts were small and did not cause serious damage to the community. Analysis on environmental quality of Ca Mau province’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment on May 8, 2018 showed that all environmental safety norms are within the permitted range.

pvgas ca mau safely handles incident of pm3 gas pipeline system
Regular maintenance works to ensure safety for the gas pipeline system

Raising sense of responsibility on residential community and environmental protection

During the incident response process, PVGas Ca Mau always actively coordinated with local residents and authorities to solve related problems. Everyday, the company also kept close contact with households to meet their needs, and monitored the surrounding environment to provide timely support.

Only in a short time after the incident occured, until now related issues have been resolved, and helped brought the local people’s daily life back to normal. According to assessments of Ca Mau province’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment, this urgent and rare incident showed that PVGas Ca Mau and PetroVietnam Gas Corporation had full capability and responsibility to handle the incident promptly and effectively. The environment in the region meets standards and does not leave bad affects in the long term.

Speaking about the incident, Director of PVGas Ca Mau Nguyen Phuc Tue said: "We have gained more experience for management and operation of gas systems, gas works, from identifying the causes, to finding short and long term solutions so that no similar incidents will occur in the future. Especially, the coordination with related parties to promptly handle the incident is also a precious experience, creating strength for enterprises located in the area."