Phoenix Park Gas Processors, a midsize public company that operates one of the Western Hemisphere's largest natural gas processing plants, hasn't even had a major leak of natural gas, let alone a major explosion. Nonetheless, Eugene Tiah, the company's president, says that before a recent major expansion of its facility in Trinidad and Tobago in the southern Caribbean, Phoenix Park, which has a "robust" company-wide enterprise risk management system, decided to do a risk assessment of the impact of a major leak of gas or a major explosion.

"We had building facilities in close proximity to the plant," Tiah says, "and we wanted to figure out what would happen if there was a cloud of hydrocarbon vapor released, and what the effect would be of an explosion on those buildings."

Although the likelihood of such an incident was deemed to be so improbable as to not require any remediation, Tiah says the company nonetheless decided to err on the side of caution. It is moving its office buildings and most of its 178 employees several miles from the plant as part of the current expansion project.

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