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Natural gas odors detected downtown

MARTINEZ, Calif. – Many throughout the downtown noticed the smell of natural gas late last week. The possible cause? An oil truck carrying the additive that gives natural gas its odor.

Shell Martinez Refinery released a statement March 3 that Shell crews investigated both the refinery and the downtown overnight, but could not detect the odors reported by the community. Despite their lack of findings, the refinery apologized to its neighbors who were impacted March 2 by the strong odor, and acknowledged the smell may have come from a truck they offloaded that carried natural gas additives.

“Around 12:30 (p.m.) yesterday afternoon, we were offloading a truck carrying the additive that gives natural gas its distinctive smell and some was drained into a bucket. Our employees took swift corrective action to stop the odor.

“Later in the afternoon we received calls that an odor persisted in the community. We drove through town, reviewed plant operations and searched throughout the plant but did not find a source of an odor. We took the added steps of monitoring for natural gas odors in town throughout the night and into the morning hours.”

The release also stated there were no natural gas leaks at the refinery, and no health impacts to the community.

Residents are encouraged to call the Shell hotline at (925) 313-3777 or (925) 313-3601 during off-work hours with any questions or feedback.

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