The CAO is issued after safety concerns identified by PHMSA’s Accident and Investigations team, following their preliminary investigation findings regarding a report and discovery of a release of LNG from a Sabine Pass storage tank on January 22, 2018.
Namely, On January 22, 2018, workers discovered a release of LNG from Tank S-103. Tank S-103 experienced a release of LNG into the space between the inner and outer tank walls, which caused cracks in the outer tank wall and the pooling of LNG in the secondary containment area surrounding the tank.
Furthermore, exposure of LNG to the carbon steel outer tank caused the outer tank wall to cool to a temperature far below its design temperature of-25° F and the formation of four separately-identifiable cracks. These cracks propagated to a length of approximately one to six feet in length in a short amount of time.
After launching an investigation into the incident, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration learned that Tank S1012 had also experienced releases of LNG from the inner tank into the annular space. This raises the possibility that the conditions which resulted in the Incident may be present in multiple tanks.
No injuries or fatalities were reported, and there were no reported fires or explosions. The cause of the incident has not yet been determined.