Flint Hills Resources Ingleside Dock 5 Release Update

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – Flint Hills Resources retained a third-party consultant to perform an investigation into the cause of a December crude oil release in Ingleside, Texas. That investigation is now complete.

On Dec. 24, approximately 335 barrels of oil were discharged from a fractured 3-inch sump line on Dock 5 at Flint Hills Resources’ Ingleside terminal. The line is designed to transport liquids such as rainwater from Dock 5 to the terminal.

Findings of the investigation indicate:

  • The 3” sump line was not emptied after removing the Dock 5 sump pump from service in June 2022; therefore, the line was still holding liquid.
  • During the time of the release, temperatures had dipped below the freezing point. The pipe’s failure occurred due to water freezing within the line, causing it to expand and fracture.
  • Although Flint Hills Resources executed a freeze protection checklist at the Ingleside Terminal prior to the freeze event, the checklist did not address the threat of freezing within the sump line on the inactive Dock 5.
  • The 3” sump line was designed to transport liquids accumulated in the sump, such as rainwater, from Dock 5 to the terminal tanks through piping that is also used for crude oil transfer. When the pipe failure occurred on the sump line, the liquid in the line drained out, allowing crude oil to backflow into and discharge from the sump line.

Following the release, Flint Hills Resources drained, air-gapped, and disconnected the Dock 5 sump line from the piping used for crude oil transfer to the terminal tanks. The Ingleside Terminal freeze protection checklist was also updated to include requirements around low flow/no flow piping, such as on the sump line on Dock 5. Additionally, the site has reviewed overall terminal operations to identify and address similar risks.

The Ingleside facility is in the process of installing an additional leak detection capability at the site. The purpose of the leak detection system is to detect vapors in the air and send notifications to facilitate a follow-up by Flint Hills Resources personnel.

The company continues to proactively monitor area shorelines and maintain the resources necessary to recover product. Small amounts of material still occasionally wash out from jetty and breakwater rocks near North Beach and University Beach due to changing weather and tide patterns. Reports of material can be made to the Flint Hills Resources Ingleside Response Center at 361-396-2831.

Flint Hills Resources has continued to meet weekly with the US Coast Guard, the Texas General Land Office, and the City of Corpus Christi Emergency Management Coordinator. The coordination of these agencies is appreciated, as well as the Port of Corpus Christi and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, who also provided assistance during the event.

Flint Hills Resources will present the findings of its report to the Corpus Christi City Council at the May 9 Council meeting.

To receive a copy of the summarized investigation report contact: Andy.saenz@fhr.com.

About Flint Hills Resources: Flint Hills Resources is a leading refining company with operations primarily in the Midwest and Texas. Flint Hills operates the Pine Bend refinery in Rosemount, Minnesota, and two refineries in Corpus Christi, TX with a combined crude oil processing capacity of more than 700,000 barrels per day. The company produces, markets, and transports refined products including gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, asphalt, and heating oils. Flint Hills Resources also owns and/or operates more than 4,000 miles of pipelines that transport crude oil, refined petroleum products, natural gas liquids, and chemicals that are delivered through a distribution system of more than 40 terminals throughout the Midwest and Texas.