May 25, 2024 11:48 PM
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OIL STORAGE

Storing Vital Products

Production, refining, and distribution of petroleum products require many different types and sizes of storage tanks. Small bolted or welded tanks might be ideal for production fields while larger, welded storage tanks are used in distribution terminals and refineries throughout the world. Product operating conditions, storage capacities, and specific design issues can affect the tank selection process.

World oil reserves are estimated at 1.6×1014 liters (1×1012 barrels), with potentially comparable amounts of undiscovered oil resources. World consumption is 1.2×1010 liters per day. Current oil production is predicted to increase by at least 1 million barrels every year over the short term, with oil reserves remaining economically exploitable for the next 25 years. Prices are expected to increase until 2040 due to the use of costlier new exploitation technologies.

Our Approach

The petroleum industry has experienced significant changes in the types of products used to feed the refineries around the world. The increased use of petroleum products has prompted the industry to turn to other sources for supply. Changes in product, physical, and chemical properties impose new challenges to the storage tank industry. Environmental and safety requirements continue to be a significant factor in the selection and design of the storage tanks used by the petroleum industry.

Oil storage tanks, which may vary in size from 6 m to 45 m in diameter and by 3 m to 15 m high, are of welded construction. The intensity of loading is due mainly to the weight of the contained oil and is thus moderate for the lower tanks which will generally be founded on a thick reinforced concrete raft, or on a bed of crushed stone hardcore, with a thick layer of sand topped off by a sand/bitumen mix. For the larger and taller tanks piling is frequently required, as such tanks are frequently sited on poor ground close to a water’s edge.

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