Steps for Proper Oil Tank Maintenance and Repair

Oil Field

When you’re working in the oil industry, you know that volume is key to doing business. Large storage tanks are necessary for refineries and other factories to store the oil that they work with. The familiar sight of an API 650 tank usually greets anyone who visits an oil refinery.

These large tanks are made of steel and are often extremely durable. They need to be since the substances stored in them can be very corrosive and caustic. However, even their toughness has limits. This is why you need to know how to maintain them properly, if necessary.

Regular Inspections

The most important part of maintenance is the need for regular inspections. You should have a team look and inspect your tanks. Leaks are very noticeable when those inspecting drop by, but inspectors also notice the corrosion of various parts so that they can be replaced before anything bad happens.

Scheduled Cleaning

Man checking the system

Another important part of maintaining an oil tank is regular cleaning. It is technically part of inspection since some inspections take a closer look inside the tank. Cleaning usually involves emptying the tank and using pressure washers and vacuums to cleanse any undesirable solids that have built up inside a storage tank. This is usually when erosion and corrosion of the interior are noticeable.

Repairs and Changes

If anything was noticed during the inspection and cleaning of the tank, this means repairs are going to be planned. There are several ways to repair oil storage tanks. The API standard for repairs starts with exterior repairs to the shell plating of any storage tank. This can also lead to upgrading to the height of the shell if the owner feels that more storage capacity is necessary.

The process then moves on to repairs of the defective welds and shell penetrations. The roof and bottom are then fixed according to standards, with the final fixes being done to the seals. The traditional way of doing this is via welding, which can mean the need to shut down operations fully while the repair is being done to avoid any fire hazards. Nowadays, cold-curing using chemical compounds is also an option.

Replacement

For severe cases, a tank might need to be replaced. This usually happens if the damage is too severe or the tank is failing to meet any of the standards for fuel storage. Full replacements can be costly, though, so it’s best to aim for proper maintenance so that you don’t end up having to replace your oil storage tanks too often.
Proper maintenance can ensure that your storage tanks will be able to last a long time. Additionally, regular repairs will help patch up damage so that the tank will still be useful.

Overall, knowledge of maintenance procedures and repair options can extend the service life of your oil storage tanks by many years. Look for a reputable provider of maintenance services if you think you can’t handle the job yourself. Hiring the pros is still your best option when it comes to this type of business.

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