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Winter 2017 Volume 03 Number 04 ISSN 1468-9340

03 Comment 43 Level measurement: the basics
Adam Wishall, Varec Inc., USA, outlines key points to
05 World News consider when selecting the most suitable gauge for tank
12 MENA: unlocking potential level measurement.
Storage and terminal opportunities abound in MENA, 47 A moving target
thanks to both strife and increased production.
Adam Krolak, Honeywell Process Solutions, Poland,
Gordon Cope, Contributing Editor, explains.
discusses accurate level measurement in dynamic
16 Be prepared applications.
Preparatory site visits reduce project cost and risk when 51 Digitalisation: here to stay?
planning intelligent pigging operations for oil terminal
Juan Tapia, ABB, Spain, considers whether digitalisation is
wharf pipelines, claim Geert Bontekoe and Laurie Todd,
more than just a passing trend in downstream tank and
Quest Integrity.
terminal operations.
20 Keeping an eye on corrosion 56 A new era
Jake Davies, Emerson Automation Solutions, UK,
Digital automation is advancing the tanks and terminals
examines continuous corrosion monitoring methods for
sector. Buzz Hetrick, TechnipFMC, USA, explains how.
jetty pipelines in order to protect against an interrupted
supply to and from the refinery. 61 Solving valve instability
25 The blame game Dr Davies Michael, Dr Moncalvo Davide and
Thorsten Schaper, Braunschweiger Flammenfilter GmbH,
Peter Williams, Concord Tank, USA, outlines why floating
Germany, discuss how to overcome pilot valve instability
roof repairs should be approached differently to floor
on cryogenic storage tanks.
29 Floating focus 64 Thinking outside the box
Vincent Lagarrigue, Trelleborg Oil and Marine, France,
Ewart Cox, Assentech, UK, considers why internal floating
calls for a rethink of transfer solutions to suit the rapidly
roofs are used for gasoline storage.
expanding LNG market.
34 A race against time 69 A new playing field
Julian Waumsley, Aquilar Ltd, UK, outlines the importance
Stuart Buchanan, GAC UK, explores how shifting market
of quickly detecting leaks in hydrocarbon storage
dynamics are creating opportunities in the tanks and
terminals market.
39 Planning for prevention
Bill Sholette, Endress+Hauser, USA, considers the benefits
of effective overfill prevention and leak detection in
chemical storage vessels.

Operators know what it takes to manage the assets
inside their facilities. However, the pipelines that
transport their products are equally critical for efficient

FRONT operation. Starting on p. 16 of this issue, Quest Integrity
describes how proactive strategies lead to long-term

asset health.

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701C Ashland Ave.fullerton@tanksterminals. the US oil and gas EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Anna Nicklin storage industry has had to contend stood up well to the unprecedented challenges that the storm ince the last issue of Tanks & Terminals EDITOR Callum O'Reilly was As mentioned in the comment that I wrote for the October 2017 issue of SUBSCRIPTIONS Laura White Hydrocarbon Engineering. making it the second PRODUCTION Ben Munro most destructive storm on record1 – it is fair to say that the energy industry ben. there are several valuable lessons that the storage industry must Nancy Yamaguchi Gordon Cope learn from this recent challenge. also provides an overview of the Tel: +44 (0) 1252 718 999 storage industry in the Middle East and North Africa (p. Folcroft PA 19032 core elements that need to change in floating roof repair projects (turn to p. sink or even collapse.munro@tanksterminals. The Houston Chronicle. 1. as part of a broader industry review of tank failures. Other topics covered in this issue of Tanks & Terminals include leak detection. 17B S Middlesex Ave. the Category 4 hurricane will total US$60 – 100 billion. most of the refineries affected by the hurricane laura. The article examines how common mistakes including postage/£200 overseas (postage airmail). The company suggests that there are three ENGINEERING. amongst others. impacting the likes of Valero Energy.oreilly@tanksterminals. ExxonMobil. as floor and shell repairs.2 As torrential rainfall began to accumulate on some of the floating roofs. Fax: +44 (0) 1252 718 992 I hope you enjoy the issue and would like to take this opportunity to thank our While a collective pat on the back is well deserved in the face of such CONTRIBUTING EDITORS adversity. ‘Failures of floating-roof oil tanks during Harvey raise concerns’.com quickly resumed operations. while offering fewer constraints for inspectors.hardy@tanksterminals. NJ and additional mailing offices. This concern is echoed in an article from Concord Tank that features in Two year discounted rate £176 UK this issue of Tanks & Terminals.little@tanksterminals. (3 October 2017). Gordon Cope. Monroe NJ 08831. Kinder Morgan. Some are now calling for an inquiry into the potential weaknesses of floating roofs. 25 to find out more). Phillips 66 and Magellan Midstream.nicklin@tanksterminals. nicola. inspection and repair guidelines for APPLICABLE ONLY TO USA & CANADA floating roofs within the API’s standards. drainage systems started to fail and the roofs began to leak. The storm resulted in a number of significant tank failures. WEB MANAGER Tom Fullerton tom. Shell. COMMENT CONTACT INFO CALLUM O'REILLY EDITOR S MANAGING EDITOR James Little james. with floating roofs coming under the most intense spotlight. while the NYMEX RROB spot price essentially ADMINISTRATION Nicola Fuller returned to pre-hurricane levels within a month of Harvey making caused widespread destruction across Texas ADVERTISEMENT MANAGER Chris Atkin – IHS Markit estimates that the damage from chris. Concord Tank argues that the current Hydrocarbon Engineering (ISSN No: with a particularly powerful hurricane ADVERTISEMENT DIRECTOR Rod Hardy season. . presenting an example of problems that can SUBSCRIPTION CLAIMS be associated with floating roof repair work. can cause floating roofs to sink. Annual subscription £110 UK including postage /£125 overseas (postage airmail).atkin@tanksterminals. The Houston Chronicle reported that there were more than 15 incidents of floating roofs falling on top of oil storage tanks during the storm. POSTMASTER: send address changes to HYDROCARBON engineers and repair contractors. Contributing Editor. (11 October 2017). Periodicals postage paid New Brunswick. and cleaning and 15 South Street Farnham Surrey GU97QU ENGLAND inspection.. USPS No: 020-998) is published monthly by Palladian Publications Ltd GBR and distributed standards foster the perception that floating roof repairs are not as critical in the USA by Asendia USA.white@tanksterminals. back to a lack of clear construction. IHS Markit. J. A key area of concern has been a lack of design standards and best SUBSCRIPTION RATES practices pertaining directly to floating roof tanks. level measurement. contributors and advertisers for their support throughout 2017. The article traces the troubles Claims for non receipt of issues must be made within 3 months of publication of the issue or they will not be honoured without charge. 'Harvey and Irma Recovery One Month Later: IHS Markit Assesses Supply Chain and Recovery Dynamics'. corrosion protection. While Hurricane Harvey rod. 2. 12). PHONE (713) 991-7843 . TANK AND TERMINAL DEMOLITION SERVICE N IN AS SEE ND NKS A TA ALS TERMIN INE MAGAZ BETTER SAFETY PERFORMANCE BETTER PRICES FOR SCRAP METAL NATIONWIDE | SINCE 1968 www.

Partners plans to enter into inaugurated. Charles refinery with the Plantation and Colonial pipeline Pakistan | LNG import terminal inaugurated systems. President of to market destinations in the Gulf to the Plains Alpha Crude ExxonMobil Pipeline Co. The terminal is located Connector pipeline system. announced in January 2017. both refinery. throughput.. The agreement also includes the V alero Energy Partners LP’s acquisition of the Port Arthur terminal assets and Parkway Peninsula’s strategy of converting its capability to supply bunkers ex-pipe Pipeline LLC from Valero Energy remaining light physical operations for ships calling at the terminal. has acquired a crude oil terminal from Genesis Energy LP. with the ability to terminal provides crude producers with a full range of logistical options including truck. but for all Permian crude oil and condensate for the corporation’s newly-acquired Basin producers.” 141 mile. said: “Growing US$508 million. and is permitted for 100 000 bpd of throughput. The deal follows our global portfolio of storage The Port Arthur terminal assets recent agreements in New Orleans. refined petroleum products pipeline linking Valero’s St. intermediates and Peninsula said that the deal operation but also a key element refined petroleum products. benefiting volume commitments covering announced plans to develop a from cost synergies with the existing approximately 85% of expected second LNG import terminal project facility. The deal (barging logistics) into a full physical Alex Lyra. efficient and cost-effective access The facility is interconnected Gerald Frey. The company will partner with PGPL in developing a new merchant floating storage and ability to expand to more than 200 000 bpd. The pipeline currently has 110 000 bpd of capacity. The agreements are each regasification capacity. The joint venture will sell gas to separate 10 year terminalling and The terminal will more than private sector end-users without transportation agreements with double Pakistan’s current LNG direct government involvement. Valero Energy Port Qasim has been officially regasification unit (FSRU) project. not only for ExxonMobil’s positioned to handle Permian Basin Permian Basin to be anchored by production. Parkway Pipeline is a directly from the local Platts on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. and surrounding ports. It is strategically ExxonMobil’s first terminal in the access. The move is also a starting point for storing Port Arthur with the Houston Fuel Oil Terminal (HOFTI) to support the company’s Peninsula-owned blending components. previously “It also provides shippers with and marine export terminals. This is the latest step in the region. has been approved. 16 in. Upon closing. with the P akistan GasPort Ltd’s (PGPL) new LNG floating storage and regasification import terminal at at Port Qasim. USA | ExxonMobil acquires crude oil terminal E xxon Mobil Corp. expected to include minimum Trafigura Group Pte Ltd has also berth and a second FSRU. consolidating our local bunkering for crude oil. transport to Gulf Coast refineries Delaware Basin acreage. part of the expand. Corp. positions into HOFTI is not only an consist of 47 tanks with Los Angeles/Long Beach and important step towards further 8. said: “The region.” 5 Winter 2017 . enhance the group’s operations in Texas. project will include a new jetty. in the Americas. Global Head of is for total consideration of model (barging plus storage logistics) Supply and Trading.5 million bbls of storage capacity Cristobal. This acquisition marks inbound and outbound pipeline Permian Basin. The Valero. WORLD NEWS USA | Peninsula signs storage agreement Valero Energy USA | Partners acquires P eninsula Petroleum Ltd has signed a new storage agreement Market on Close (MOC). which will eventually terminal assets bunkering operations in Houston. which with HOFTI will enable the for the integration of the group’s support Valero’s Port Arthur company to source product regional physical footprint. Panama. rail and in the Delaware Basin.

sites at Aberdeen. and a 55 000 bpd of two tanks at its fuel terminal in enhancements. Country the planned phase two expansion of the terminal’s storage capacity is the Manager for Mobil. Pipeline System (FPS) and the Kinneil gas processing plant and to acquire Valt Asphalt Terminal B. its bulk fuels terminal at Mount The tanks will be located Manganui.V. They are also supported expected to occur around 1 January 2018. pipeline. as well as has commenced operations at its and Richmond Terminal from an affiliate 64 storage tanks (approximately destination terminal in Stroud. The company expects to an important part of the fuel supply the current geo-political situation. which will provide enhanced facilities and services to existing and potential customers. The terminal storage capacity M acquisition includes 129 Chevron branded obil Oil New Zealand Ltd has latest of several recent investments retail service stations. The terminal provides a destination point total purchase price of US$275 million.. a 50/50 joint NEOS has acquired the Forties Ownership and operation of FPS. The facilities have extensive for rail-to-pipeline shipments of heavy The acquisition expands the connectivity to domestic and crude oil from the partnership’s Hardisty partnership’s storage and terminalling international refined product and terminal in Western Canada and provides footprint into the San Francisco Bay crude oil markets through significant connectivity to one of the largest crude oil Area refining complex. along planning to sell its Fujairah (IPTF) Terminal. It also complete the work in early 2019. Parkland Fuel Corp. fee-based agreements  subject to customary closing conditions. UK mainland and the INEOS site in INEOS FPS. replace those damaged by a 2014 with the Lyttelton-Woolston IL&FS said that it remains positive about its landslide at Mobil’s Naval Point pipeline and Woolston Terminal. South Island with the construction associated service station three terminals in B. export facility. associated pipelines and facilities oil terminal. and Alberta. Scotland. and the upgrade of light/sweet crude refinery in B. with contract terms of up to five years. has signed an I agreement with Valt B. The closing of the acquisition is capabilities.. by multi-year. Oklahoma. which.. INEOS acquires the North Sea Forties UK |   Pipeline System and Kinneil Terminal HES International B.C. has announced the Mobil to restore Lyttelton closing of its acquisition of Chevron Canada R & M ULC. despite facility. terminal. USD Partners LP agreed to acquire the Martinez Terminal crude oil terminals.. Winter 2017 6 . The terminal delivers storage.V. the Dalmeny storage and a bitumen terminal located in Botlek. truck and rail storage hubs in North America. venture between Vitol and Sargeant. is oil storage business in the region.V.C. of Plains All American Pipeline LP. from BP.C. The 235 mile pipeline system links Forties Unity Platform and associated handling and blending services to the 85 North Sea oil and gas assets to the infrastructure has now transferred to European and African bitumen market. including the launch of its the Greater Vancouver area. for a 5. approximately 300 personnel. WORLD NEWS IN BRIEF TransMontaigne Partners inks deal with USA | Plains All American Pipeline  A wholly owned subsidiary of TransMontaigne Partners LP has The West Coast facilities include two waterborne refined product and With necessary retrofit work to handle heavier grades of crude oil. 37 commercial fuel supply capacity for the Synergy family of fuels and cardlock locations in B.C.” said confirmed that it is going ahead with Restoring the Lyttelton fuel Andrew McNaught. together with Grangemouth. Lyttelton.  adjacent to Mobil’s existing terminal “Construction of new tanks will IL&FS Group has issued a statement at George Seymour Quay and will restore fuel storage capacity at our denying recent press reports that it is store petrol and diesel.4 million bbls of storage capacity). They will Lyttelton operation. marine. which operates New Zealand | a downstream fuel business in British Columbia (B. chain in the South Island.) and Alberta. principally located in announced plans to improve by Mobil. the Rotterdam.

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Jurong Port Pte Ltd and Oiltanking celebrated the official launch LNG terminal development in pipeline and/or city gas distribution of the joint venture. with a total capacity of 480 000 m3. gas supply needs.A. The company The port has allocated an area fertilizer. said: “This project. B. WORLD NEWS IN BRIEF Invex Infraestructura awards contract Mexico | to Jacobs   Aramco Overseas Co. Winter 2017 8 . of existing land in Jurong Port. has entered for a greenfield fuel storage and Manager Global Operations. de C. accessibility to Puducherry and Tamil fabrication.V. steel. S. This will complement the basis for the construction and Mexico and Latin America.V. mainly during the petroleum and petrochemical network. a J acobs Engineering Group Inc.P. allowing efficient execution.” Saudi Aramco’s export activities in Europe. The terminal will also be (CNOOC) for the coming winter contribution to both LNG and natural connected via pipelines to the Jurong Island season. activities. and safe and fully in line with Jacobs’ strategy and other facilities in the same area. installation and testing of the AG&P has also executed Nadu. operations on 28 October. strengthen its supply chain and enhance its customer services in the region. into an arrangement to buy Gunvor Group’s distribution terminal in Tula Hidalgo. procurement. Gulf and Pacific Co. Located on 16 ha. textile. a subsidiary of Summit Power International. has signed a US$100 million turnkey contract with A tlantic. Cape Ann will transfer LNG into of Jurong Port Tank Terminals started in The FSRU arrived in Tianjin fully smaller onshore tanks which are used May 2017 and is on track to be completed loaded with LNG and started by CNOOC for LNG trucking activity. engineering. It will be ngie has renewed a regasification Cape Ann has previously provided supported by four jetties with draft of up and storage services contract with similar services to CNOOC. continued focus on developing for expanded offerings in the North West The engineering phase will provide storage terminal opportunities in Europe refining hub. as a to 180 000 DWT. (INI4) operation of the terminal.6 m capable of handling vessels up China National Offshore Oil Corp. has been awarded a contract by Invex Infraestructura 4. the new liquid bulk terminal will cater to the storage and trading China | Engie renews contract with CNOOC E of clean petroleum products. It will in addition to the usual FSRU remain in the port until spring 2018. which is stake in the Maasvlakte Olie Terminal Jacobs will perform engineering expected to help boost confidence in (MOT) in Rotterdam. sourcing and supply. which has major storage and regasification terminal (FSRT) LNG. It will also provide wider gas for design. (AOC). Jurong Port Tank May 2017. cement. The construction port of Tianjin. It will serve the Tamil Nadu fixed infrastructure (FI) for its floating LNG exclusivity with PPN Power to supply region. expects the project to be completed within its existing breakwater to leather. India | AG&P to develop LNG import terminal  Summit LNG Terminal. Mark Bello. is MOT will add to its current participation in regulation compliance. network.I. develop an LNG terminal to serve located within its 300 km catchment power. including LNG Ennore. Cox’s Bazar. benefits for its customers. The port received Environmental Approval (EA) for this the gas-fired power industry as well as multiple demand centres via In September 2017. manufacturing clusters for the at Moheskhali. sugar and garment industries 16 months from the time of signing. (AG&P) has signed an exclusivity agreement with Karaikal Port Pvt Ltd The development of the LNG import terminal will complement Indian Oil’s LNG terminal that is a marine work contractor consortium (KPPL) to develop an LNG import currently under construction in comprising of Geocean SAS and MacGregor terminal at the port. Terminals. by 2019. from to 17. Jacobs Petroleum and Chemicals Senior Vice President and General subsidiary of Saudi Aramco. industrial and other customers area. November 2013 to January 2017. The LNG terminal will also serve  in the region. AOC’s investment in services and support INI4 with fuel supply throughout the country. The contract will be fulfilled by winter period associated with peak thus providing significant efficiencies and the FSRU GDF SUEZ Cape Ann in the demand.


as well as an 80 km crude oil pipeline.afpm. USA central Mexico on 1 January operators. Florida. I am excited that we are San Antonio.stocexpomiddleeastafrica. and crude tank farm. 20 .18 April 2018 PRISMA and its shareholders.29 March 2018 NISTM 20th Annual International Aboveground P RISMA has confirmed its commitment to offering services to storage operators. Texas.13 June 2018 ILTA International Operating Conference & Trade Show Houston.15 March 2018 centres. Louisiana.14 December 2017 Turbomachinery & Pump Symposia A subsidiary of Savage Companies will commence operations of its new petroleum transload terminal in trucks. At full capabilities later next 27 . Singapore The consortium’s scope of work Saipem will perform the balance of www. USA www. Managing Director of www.afpm.tamu.” 11 .org/conferences PRISMA. Savage atps.gastechevent. AFPM Annual Meeting Kansas City Southern de Mexico “We’re excited to leverage our New Orleans.25 May 2018 increasing the scope of proposed storage operators will help to increase AFPM Reliability & Maintenance Conference and services. Texas. showed participants.13 March 2018 The terminal is served by the unit train volumes.” said Kirk products directly from railcars into President and CEO. transferring in Mexico. a crude tank farm at Ras Markaz. said: “In the perspective of will help us extend the new services. CB&I’s portion of the procurement and construction (EPC) contract is valued at approximately of a product export terminal at US$140 million. a contract for EPC performing all of the EPC works for 26 .tankstorageasia. Spain D uqm Refinery and Petrochemicals Industries Co.27 September 2018 Package 3 for the Duqm Refinery storage tanks at the export terminal Tank Storage Asia project. WORLD NEWS DIARY DATES Mexico | Savage expands operations 12 . held by infrastructures for market 17 .org/AOCTS contract 17 . with high-speed rail year and positive feedback from the facilitate an easy access to gas market. UAE both the market and storage Götz Lincke.ilta. the works. LLC (DRPIC) has awarded a consortium between CB&I Duqm Port. The consultation. Meanwhile. product railroad and provides access to team’s experience operating transload strategic ports and US-based refinery facilities and rail operations to reduce 13 .tamu. CB&I will be www. market. the terminal will serve managing refined petroleum products Singapore manifest rail plans to significantly expand terminal blending and truck loading.p. Following permitting approvals. build out. the Netherlands Europe | PRISMA expands storage services www.20 September 2018 Gastech 2018 Barcelona. Chairman of already receiving great feedback that www. encompasses the engineering. PRISMA. the terminal will handle 11 .stocexpoeurope. USA Gaetano Mazzitelli. in the interest of EU final StocExpo Middle East Africa strong support for the initiative from customers. Savage plans to add tank storage and fixed facilities for Houston. USA successful 10 month market pilot this We are extending our services to www.A.” Dubai.nistm. the logistics costs of moving and Asia Turbomachinery & Pump Symposium Initially. Winter 2017 10 . following a the Energy Union (EU). based on requests of both efficiency and transparency in the Exhibition storage operators and the market.22 March 2018 StocExpo Europe Rotterdam. USA CB&I and Saipem win Duqm Refinery Oman | www. we confirm our strong commitment to promote the integration of the energy markets. Storage Tank Conference & Trade Show and Saipem S. said: “We are convinced that The company will now consider our existing and future services for 22 .

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thanks to both strife and increased production. explains. Contributing Editor. Storage and terminal opportunities abound in MENA. Winter 2017 12 . Gordon Cope.

Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia is the elephant in the MENA menagerie.6 million bpd. the MENA region also holds tremendous potential.T he Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are two of the largest oil and gas producing regions in the world. internal conflict and discord affecting both civil society and hydrocarbon output.5 billion ft3/d. Over the last several decades. Those plans inevitably create opportunities for storage and terminals in the region. flooding the international market to put pressure on shale oil producers. Kuwait skyline.8 million bpd in an attempt to stabilise prices in the US$50 – 60 range. with wars. US operators proved more resilient to market forces and managed to maintain record levels of production. initiated in 2017. cutting almost 1 million bpd in exports. Saudi Arabia has acted as the swing producer in OPEC. Saudi Aramco (which produces 9 billion ft3/d in associated gas) is spending US$4 billion to increase supplies to domestic industrial consumers. The 2014 OPEC gambit. Meanwhile. It has called for bids to build new gas booster compressor stations at the Haradh and Hawiyah gas plants. The kingdom has plans to almost double production to 23 billion ft3/d by the end of next decade. The kingdom has approximately 298 trillion ft3 of proven gas reserves. Saudi Arabia has taken the lead. which is being unlocked as rising production in North America obliges governments to refocus their energy strategies. will also require a 40% increase in in-country storage and transportation infrastructure to handle the increased volumes. However. The latest strategy. The kingdom has 261 billion bbls in proven reserves. reducing production to increase prices and letting the taps flow when it seeks greater market share. OPEC members have seen cash reserves dwindle. Despite this. the country has lost some of its clout. 1 13 Winter 2017 . is largely seen as a failure. It is diversifying its energy mix. They are also two of the most contentious areas. which will see gas output rise to 12. is to reduce OPEC production by 1.5 million bpd and exports 7. The two phase project. produces 10.

it will be through civil war that engulfed the country in 2011. Oil and gas assets. of gas. In to disruptions and protests. became prime targets. little other than trade has been disrupted. it never had a exported the equivalent of 9. allowing production to rise back Es Sider.” he noted. The dispute centres around Qatar’s backing of the UAE Muslim Brotherhood and the operation of its Al Jazeera TV The UAE holds 98 billion bbls in crude reserves and network.2 billion ft3/d in 2015. located in Oman on the shore of the Arabian Sea. While the group has openly called for regime change 192 trillion ft3 of proven gas reserves. the project would require In mid-2017. a plan that will show the way for the hiatus in new LNG construction. Libya was a major enhanced oil recovery (EOR). of which 80% is exported as crude. Should the JV go ahead. were needed before tankers could load. the newly-appointed Sonatrach Qatar has 25 billion bbls of crude reserves and almost CEO. Led by the Since then. Algeria. Libya’s biggest export terminal. and produced (JV). (DRPIC). and oil production at 2 million bpd.9 billon ft3/d. rights and delaying projects. produced 1. Its capacity remains Oman has 5 billion bbls of proven reserves and produces far below its pre-conflict level of 350 000 bpd.5 million bpd of national oil company’s (NOC) board was in discussions with crude and condensates. Meanwhile. Production averaged 5 billion ft3/d of gas (primarily associated). It also has 12 billion bbls of oil reserves and complex in the Duqm Special Economic Zone (SEZAD). “I want a strategy for Sonatrach.2 million bpd were following major repairs to tanks and other infrastructure that exported as either crude or refined products. It produces 1. a 1. with Libyan United Nations (UN). and there is no suggestion of interrupting hydrocarbon exports. In 2010. production in Qatar.A.3 billion ft3/d in 2015. The the terminal and tank farm is estimated at US$140 million government has been criticised for setting onerous contract (the entire complex is expected to cost over US$3 billion).7 million bpd in 2010. announced that the 800 trillion ft3 of gas reserves. The expansion will require that it had signed a deal with Total. Prior to the development of new fields. almost 1 million bpd. the OPEC member has plans to achieve 3. in light of falling project. strategy before. Kuwait and Oman a blockade by a military faction since 2014. with exports averaging approximately majority in order to maintain oilfield pressure.7 million bpd in 2016. changes may Qatar be in the offing. It has farms. Regardless. and capacity has risen from 2. factions formed transitional governments in both the capital of Tripoli and the major producing regions to the east of the Iran country.8 million bpd to 3 million bpd. The UAE produces over producer and exporter of oil. Bahrain. 25% expansion in capacity will require commensurate export After the overthrow of the Gaddafi regime. located in Ras Laffan port. various storage and infrastructure expansions. Egypt and the UAE cut significant storage and transportation infrastructure.5 million bpd capacity in 2018. the country announced that next decade. but due to relatively little international investment. Saudi Arabia. the drop has not been due to internal a consortium led by Saipem S. gas production stood at cover the construction of an offsite export terminal at 7. Sonatrach also announced the next five to seven years. and Libya’s production fell to 158 billion bbls of proven crude reserves and 1000 trillion ft3 approximately 400 000 bpd in 2015. As a result. of which 2. The contract portion for strife. Duqm Refinery & Petrochemical Industries Co. it produced 4 million bpd. the North African country has much greater The JV recently awarded several major EPC contracts that potential. Since 2015. “I will publish shortly what I approximately one-third of global LNG shipments. production has recovered. Libya Much of the increased capacity will not be through the Libya has over 48 billion bbls in crude reserves. After a called ‘Sonatrach 2030’.4 million bpd. It produced damaged by attacks from Isil but was reopened in late 2016 over 2. and taxation policies in order to attract more foreign Qatar is also the world’s largest producer of LNG. and exports over 90% as crude and the Algerian government to reform oil and gas legislation refined products. The NOC commissioned extensive new storage and docking capacity at its main export the French oil company to complete a feasibility study terminal. However. roughly half of which was exported via DRPIC is building a 230 000 bpd refinery and petrochemical pipeline and LNG. production and income (Algeria’s energy revenues fell from US$60 billion in 2014 to US$27 billion in 2016). Unlike Duqm port. mid-2017. It investment. sanctions were eased. but re-injects the 1. DRPIC has not set a date for the commissioning of the Observers are cautiously optimistic that. including fields. teamed up Algeria with its counterpart Oman Oil Co. a series of sanctions were imposed authorities reporting production exceeding 1 million bpd in upon Iran in order to curb its nuclear programme. terminals and tank Iran contains a wealth of hydrocarbon riches.p. exports can fluctuate wildly. It was extensively Kuwait has proven reserves of 104 billion bbls.37 million bpd in 2015. 7. the world’s largest regarding the building of a major petrochemical facility in artificial harbour and LNG export terminal. had been shut due to up to approximately 4 million bpd. In late 2017. Rather. so far. diplomatic ties with Qatar and severed transport links to the peninsula. as well as a crude oil pipeline and a tank farm to some of its neighbours. to create a joint venture Algeria has 144 trillion ft3 of proven gas reserves. 2016. Kuwait’s state-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corp. Because the country’s oil and gas sector is subject production had dropped to below 3 million bpd by 2015.” it would once again boost output by approximately 30% over Prior to Kaddour’s appointment. Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour. A decade ago. Winter 2017 14 .

Iraq. most recently. Iranian portion of a giant gas deposit known as the North Field in Qatar). but. is looking to expand its export Kharg Island in the Gulf in order to export a new grade. MENA must deal with the surge of exports production. Canada is also seeking West Kharoon. which has insufficient its neighbours faces significant obstacles to resolution. production and exports. Iraq Iraq contains 143 billion bbls of proven crude reserves and 100 trillion ft3 of proven gas. Thanks to additional capacity increases in the Basra offshore terminal. which is similar to Iraq’s Basra heavy crude. While Isil’s armed uprising in for Dikes. has largely been Sumps. . Roof Drains. (NIOC). the US and its allies. The country has suffered a tumultuous half-century in which oil production has been derailed by wars against Iran. Starting in early January 2017. was holding almost 30 million bbls at sea in several dozen tankers. propane and markets. The diplomatic isolation of Qatar by The National Iranian Oil Co. Long-term outlook when it was exempted from the OPEC output deal to cut In the longer term. against Isil. By 2017. • Single Event Payback The future • Real-time Monitoring The MENA region faces several challenges.5 million bpd in exports in 2017. gasoline. years of low commodity prices. its output has returned to above 4. which saw the seizure of major oil producing regions. Thanks to the shale revolution. US. The new facility has added oilsands production into Europe and Asia. The new production will be used for domestic consumption.5 million bpd of crude.interoceansystems. the country still must address the complications of Kurdish Outfalls independence. but tidewater terminals in order to market its ever-growing with higher sulfur content. The terminal. Iraq has been busy increasing the capacity of its southern offshore export terminal at Khor al-Amaya. Iran completed construction of a terminal near came onstream in 2016. which has a capacity of 600 000 bpd. Separators & resolved. Phase two will cost Total up to US$5 billion. is undergoing storage and infrastructure augmentation to double capacity.5 million bpd. After the last three 300 000 bpd in export capacity. militias and other armed groups continue to disrupt oil InterOcean Systems. which In 2017. Dredging will also • Early Warning Oil allow Suezmax vessels (tankers that can Detection carry up to 1 million bbls of crude) to dock. As part of its plan to increase exports. many MENA countries are After participating in the original offshore South Pars gas scrambling to diversify their economies away from oil. NIOC has managed to reduce this amount by from North America. • Non-Contact Sensor Iraq has exceeded 3. Total has announced that it will ultimately. In Libya. The Sabine Pass LNG facility in Louisiana. their greatest concern may be hanging on to what participate in phase two of the project (South Pars is the they have now. requiring extensive storage and transportation infrastructure within the country. in-country crude storage. the US more than half through aggressive discounts and courting new now exports over 1.2 billion ft3/d by 2021. field development with Iran. capacity to 9. The surge in production coincided with a worldwide glut. and the country has plans to reach 5 million bpd in 2018 through further development of its Halfaya oilfield in the Maysan province. LLC +1 858 565 8400 • www. and.

claim Geert Bontekoe and Laurie Todd. Quest Integrity. Winter 2017 16 . Preparatory site visits reduce project cost and risk when planning intelligent pigging operations for oil terminal wharf pipelines.

O il terminal wharf pipelines are often considered much smaller field for consideration. More spool piece between valves. In order to determine which complex projects. that an experienced project manager conducts a site visit in This article discusses the inspection planning and site the early stages of project planning. visit process for wharf pipelines. 1 17 Winter 2017 . it is recommended operating requirements and available technologies. so that a safe. it is imperative that a site lack of information and understanding of the inspection visit is performed by an expert with specific knowledge of all methods available. In these situations. This can be due to a range of factors. often unsuitable for inspecting wharf pipelines. are typically characterised by a specific methods are appropriate. a lack of a pig launcher or receiver. pre-inspection site visit is to gather all of the available including operating pressure limitations or due to information. as well as the methods used Commonly available in-line inspection (ILI) tools are to mitigate unnecessary inspection project expenditures. efficient and cost-effective intelligent pigging and may have features such as short radius cleaning and inspection procedure can be developed. bends. however. flow conditions. necessary to support the inspection. The objective of a ‘unpiggable’. including operational constraints and the fact that the pipeline was not designed for preferences. it A variety of solutions are available to address problems is important to first understand all of the possible inspection relating to pipeline modifications and equipment methods as well as all of the associated challenges. While new technologies now performing a preparatory site visit can achieve significant allow previously unpiggable wharf pipelines to be accurately cost savings through the reduction or elimination of pipeline and quickly inspected. In simple requirements. diameter changes Experience has shown that the small upfront investment of or various other challenges. there are still many challenges that modifications. pipeline downtime and the equipment that is arise due to operational constraints. When preparing for the inspection of a wharf pipeline. or launching or receiving the ILI tool from a including drawings and historical pipeline data. Some examples include: using flexible hoses to cases it may be possible to accomplish this by conducting create looped pipeline systems. leaving a Case studies are presented to illustrate these methods. adjusting tool bypass to suit preliminary discussions and collecting vital information.

When preparing for a wharf pipeline ILI. This change has encouraged pipeline operators to assess all options. These factors vary in their contribution. ICDA and/or hydrotesting as a last resort method. with ILI tools. Damage to the coating is often launch location could be accessed through two manways. The supports. „ Permanent or temporary pipeline modifications. and they often eliminate the need for pipeline modification. including operating been constructed in 1985 and had not been pigged since it was pressure limitations or that the system was not designed for ILI. the introduction of new technologies is changing the playing field as they can cope with challenging operating conditions. such as the navigation of tight and mitered bends in low pressure conditions. The selection „ A gauging pig run with gauge plate at 90 or 95% of a process has become significantly more difficult and pipeline’s inside diameter. complicated. allowing for future The total cost of the project can include: installation of an ILI receiver. however. „ Flow parameters (minimum pressure and flow rate) that may be difficult to manage in certain pipelines. The complexities of selecting an inspection „ A caliper tool run. case studies. are not readily piggable wharf pipeline. of ILI where practicable. The pipeline. The majority of these tools have been based on „ The manpower needed to support the project. commissioned. with these tools typically require: „ A lengthy launcher and receiver. a notable amendment of AS/NZ 2885. but a launch valve was Most wharf lines have extra metal features. used to transport white oil. The pipeline ran from a wharf to a tank farm. In other regions. These features limit the accuracy of ILI tools that are based on MFL technology. had with traditional ILI tools for various reasons. an inspection was performed on a 14 in. No traps were present.. For the oil terminal operator. including modifications to perform an ILI. This revision recommended that as part of any pipeline integrity management Figure 1. Case study one In this case. launch location was located directly above the launch valve and Winter 2017 18 . thus causing them to rely on ECDA. For instance. The implication of this process is also financially salient as the total cost of a project can vary Figure 2. comparing vendor qualifications and data quality. method and supplier of the chosen ILI service. the pipeline operator should consider use effectively. A real world application of the pipeline considerably from one inspection technology to the next. safety and environmental concerns. depending on the „ Pipeline cleaning. compressors. modification design in Figure 1. such as pumps. especially at weld locations. this is both an opportunity and a dilemma. the ILI tool selection process now involves supplying highly specific information about the pipeline. „ Rental of equipment. Inspections performed „ The cost of downtime. clamps and sleeves. only ‘piggable’ pipelines have been inspected „ Providing and disposing of the inspection medium. which increases the first launch location was for personnel access. 1 mile long Many wharf pipelines. Fortunately. magnetic flux leakage (MFL) technology.3 for Australia and New Zealand was implemented in 2012. The second chance of external corrosion in the heat affected zone (HAZ). This combination of circumstances has made it both necessary and possible to inspect the large number of wharf pipelines that had previously been considered unpiggable. and potentially making costly modifications to the pipeline prior to inspection. oil terminal operators are now facing new rules. regulations. A pipeline modification used to inspect the pipeline plan. The observed. lifting equipment and frac tanks. Traditionally. Concurrently. technology for wharf pipelines are illustrated in the following „ Lifting equipment for the ILI tool. several well-publicised incidents have forced operators to focus on the inspection of wharf pipelines that have previously been neglected from an ILI perspective. such as pipe still in place.

handed back to the client. with a great During a site visit. Two pipelines available resources. of an accident or spill due to the increased amount of work in a Within 4 hrs. drawing for the modification was provided in the procedure (Figure 1). However. the two pipelines were cleaned. a method was devised to reduce the total cost saving element was the use of a dock hose as the bypass work load for the client. all viable inspection options were deal of scaffolding under the wharf. A standard ILI tool could have been used. The launcher was installed using a small crane that was mounted on a truck. 4000 ft loading lines running from a dock to a tank terminal. The maximum pressure allowed was 150 psi. it is imperative for operated several tank farms. Five cleaning runs were completed across one afternoon and the following morning. from either the current and/or future ILI supplier. The without incident. the inspection was executed on time and were inspected with minimal work at the shared dock. but would have required large pig traps. but had not previously inspected an ILI provider with wharf line inspection experience to perform either of these loading lines. dock hoses that are used to loop the pipelines together for inspection. During the visit. These lines were used for the When inspecting wharf pipelines that historically would not offloading of various fuel products to the tank farm. This method would further reduce the total increase the overall cost and would have also increased the risk work scope for the client. An initial site visit was performed prior to inspection. This inspection consisted of two parallel 8 in. One line included a Conclusion three-way valve (Figure 3). any trap. This modification would easily allow for the installation of any Figure 3. The owner have been inspected or considered piggable.could be used to lower a small launcher underneath the berth. The dock hose was readily available and could be used on time frame. scheduling flexibility from the ILI supplier was required. Its initial idea was to inspect each a site visit. One During the site visit. a site visit was project manager in this way. The ILI was performed in a very short line. which had been brought in by the ships when offloading diesel. outlining the roles. A consideration prior to inspection. the project manager was able to identify several options for the client. A procedure was developed. 19 Winter 2017 . Developers of new ILI tools are able to provide the line individually. various inspection options were discussed with both the owner and the third-party operator. it is possible to realise substantial organised to explore better options for the client. which allowed the Analysis operator to select the most convenient overall solution. which was client had been contemplating excavating a small part of a hill normally used to offload ships and connect the two pipelines at to make room for a large trap.. The week before the ILI inspection. The ILI run was completed successfully. Utilising the capabilities of all involved parties and locally which made scheduling on a shared dock easier. which simplified and minimised the work and Case study two risk involved. During the site visit. A three-way valve requiring logistical suitable ILI receiver without a need to drain the pipeline. with a launcher and receiver at both ends and best knowledge on potential operational improvements for an using water as the inspection medium. The project was completed within 2. Due to an ever-changing shipping schedule. without any incidents or spills. As this option would inspection. It was determined that receiver modification was required to allow for future repeat inspection.5 days on-site. there was no mainline valve present. the considered. At the receiver side. inspected and confined space and the heavy lifting involved. Figure 4. By utilising the ILI provider as a consultant and require the use of frac tanks on the dock. with all of the cleaning and ILI pig runs carried out using a firewater supply for propulsion. The pipeline was normally operated by a third-party operator and the owner had no pipeline pigging experience. only a flange to connect to. these factors would the dock (Figure 4). project management capabilities. Two 8 in. overall cost savings and risk reduction. The solution was to use a dock hose. At the receiver side. providing Analysis significant cost savings by avoiding the need to The ILI vendor in this case was selected based on its cost and fabricate a spool. the pipeline owner modified the pipeline and installed the receiver (Figure 2). The pipeline contained a reasonable amount of sediment. Installation of large pig traps would have required a small barge. installation of pig traps could also be performed within the client’s terminal. The inspection allowed for minimal dock occupation time. responsibilities and materials for each associated party.

Jake Davies. UK. Winter 2017 20 . The maze of pipes is subject to corrosion. Emerson Automation Solutions. examines continuous corrosion monitoring methods for jetty pipelines in order to protect against an interrupted supply to and from the refinery. Figure 1. Jetties allow tankers to load and unload crude oil. feedstock and finished products close to a refinery.

either sea or river.M any refineries and oil terminals are located beside major stretches of water. Ships and barges need a certain amount of water depth to be able to safely load and unload product without the danger of running aground. 2 21 Winter 2017 . to provide a cost-effective transportation route for incoming crude oil and feedstock. so most facilities use jetties (Figure 1) to enable the vessel to moor in deeper water away from the shore. and for outgoing finished products.

this regular inspection activity is mandated by the local environmental regulator. where it is monitoring of jetty pipelines. Jetties can often be several hundred feet long. To reduce the risk of leaks from corrosion. and to avoid the associated costs and regulatory issues. operators would rather avoid. and necessitate complex oil spill response procedures to clean up the water. ATEX. Corrosion inside jetty lines is normally uniform in nature or restricted to specific well-known areas. such as data manager from Emerson below the jetty. such as microbial-induced corrosion in low points of the lines. so there is no Winter 2017 22 . can be permanently deployed in bacteria that cause microbial-induced corrosion. or when fuels contain Installing ultrasonic sensors potentially corrosive additives. a hydrocarbon leak resulting from corrosion in a jetty line will go straight into the water course. The use of carbon used to forecast when lines need to be replaced with a steel. stored in a database accessible from anywhere on the company’s network – enabling data visualisation and analysis at the engineers’ desks. which can be mounted at a control system onshore. sensor is wireless and battery operated. so carbon steel is used instead. making regular manual inspection and maintenance difficult. most jetty owners will regularly inspect suspended pipelines from a boat or by a suspended scaffold. (Figure 4). If undetected. etc. Elevated corrosion rates and wall loss are detected. requiring access by – for example. enabling end-users to focus on construct these jetty pipelines from stainless or alloy issues at specific locations. such as at company headquarters the various oil products and feedstocks. In many jurisdictions. IECEx. This areas of hydrocarbon processing facilities zoned issue is especially likely to occur in jetty lines since hazardous (Zone 0. the water to settle in low points. it is not cost-effective to variations as they arise. Corrosion rate data can be steel. in today’s tight margin environment. Figure 2. Data from the ultrasonic sensors is transmitted wirelessly from the sensors to a gateway. Continuous corrosion monitoring systems Continuous corrosion monitoring with ultrasonic wall thickness measurements provide an effective and continuous check of pipeline integrity (Figure 3). allowing electromagnetic acoustic transduction principles. high degree of accuracy. Therefore. Specialised data visualisation and product lines are run from shore in pipelines above and analytics software.). regular cost that. provides corrosion rate calculations and flags In most instances. or locally in the Figure 3. eliminating the need for manual inspection. corrosion sensors can be spread uniformly at strategic points to enable continuous sampling. The gateway feeds the data in wall thickness sensors provide continuous corrosion relevant time to a computer or server. Many jetties suspend pipes underneath to allow vehicle traffic above. Suspended pipelines are difficult to inspect Access to the pipelines by boat is not always possible with manual ultrasonic methods. however. Based on they have intermittent or slow flow rates. particularly where higher sulfur content oils (such as fuel oils) are concerned. interrupt jetty operations while the leak is sealed. mainly using manual methods such as ultrasound wall thickness inspection (Figure 2). The presence and Low-powered ultrasonic corrosion sensors. during bad weather – and incurs a boat or a ladder. creates a risk of internal corrosion. and targeted at specific high risk locations with additional sensors. Permasense ET210 wireless ultrasonic jetty control room. To accommodate at a central location. multiple or a technical centre. with This technology makes it feasible for integrity data multiple berths and the capability to handle many across multiple locations to be monitored by experts different products simultaneously. such as the build-up of water allows for the accumulation of Permasense ET210.

we provide EPC services. 866 367 6879 | matrixservicecompany. repairs.CONCEPT TO COMPLETION. fabrication. cryogenic and low-temperature tanks and terminals across the gas value chain. modifications and upgrades for LNG. IT ALL BEGINS WITH . From world-class engineering to large-scale construction.

). calculates locations or outside in corrosion rates. without the need for multiple installation trade specialists (mechanical. with a restraining strap used to prevent such as manual ultrasound inspection. and access by boat or scaffolding for suspended pipelines. and Jetty pipelines often experience internal corrosion and other devices such as temperature. gateway and corrosion requirement to lay cables for power supply or monitoring software is a continuous corrosion system communications. extreme ambient conditions often found near jetties. and send it to a control or well as closer scrutiny from environmental regulators and monitoring system. pressure. Approximately 25 sensors operational outages. Installing Permasense ultrasonic corrosion regulatory pressure. Typically. as sensors on the jetty. etc. and the cost of spill response and clean-up. and losses due to sensors is a simple matter. dislocation (Figure 5). The installation and commissioning procedure can be completed in just a few minutes. which are often far more than can be installed in one day per installation technician. instrument/electrical. detects problems. often used to protect the outside of the an enhanced inspection and reporting regime in order to piping from external atmospheric corrosion. owners carry out routine inspections from boat or The sensor is fixed to the pipe surface by integral suspended scaffolding using labour-intensive methods magnets. A complete monitoring system for a jetty with 25 or more sensors can be installed. most jetty a simple and quick task. Environmental clean-up costs following an oil leak can run upwards of US$250 000. risk of unplanned outages and leaks. Figure 5. Mounting of the ultrasonic sensor is potential reputation damage. welding. clean-up costs. and predicts when pipelines need to be repaired or replaced. Therefore. This simple installation procedure provides advantages. Winter 2017 24 . reputation damage. and are likely to incur significant fines. At a cost of approximately US$125 000 for a monitoring system at 25 locations. Typical access and manpower costs are US$1000 per measurement location for suspended pipelines. do not minimise the probability of a leak. Data manager software monitors data from ultrasonic sensors. only a a leak includes ceasing jetty operations while the leak is single gateway is needed to acquire data from all the repaired. Continuous corrosion need to be removed as the sensor will measure through monitoring systems provide a means to measure and the coating. Benefits of continuous corrosion monitoring Performing manual inspections for pipeline corrosion requires the services of a trained ultrasonic technician. which can result in feedstock or level sensors used to monitor and control flow to and products discharging directly into the water. particularly when working in the inaccessible Figure 4. commissioned and transmitting data within one day. The cost of from the tankers and onshore tanks. The sensor uses the WirelessHART® communications protocol to form a wireless mesh network with other Conclusion corrosion sensors installed on the jetty’s pipelines. This results in an annual inspection cost for a jetty with 25 monitoring locations and inspections of US$150 000. and manual inspections are typically carried out every two months at a cost of US$25 000 per inspection. Therefore. depending on the size of the spill. installation avoids the need that could quickly pay for itself and greatly reduce the for expensive conduit or cable trays. report corrosion rates. External corrosion protection In many jurisdictions. environmental regulations force coatings. flow or hydrocarbon leaks.

tank with a steel perimeter pontoon external mistakes can lead to sinking floating roofs. This article will examine how common A 100 ft dia. outlines why floating roof repairs should be approached differently to floor repairs. USA. After years of service. As the average floating roof age continues to was now allowing water to get inside the tank and sit on the increase. digging deeper into the problem. the company determined that it needed to change its perspective on floating A case study roof repair projects. floating roof had been covered with a geodesic dome decades Most of the issues uncovered are not specific to Concord ago. Concord Tank. but are common practices across the tank storage had been removed. This article aims to present experiences that that it had been making some poor approaches to its can be learned from in order to avoid facing the same issues in floating roof repair work. the floating roof drain and sump Tank. Concord Tank realised more common. The roof had not been recoated 2 25 Winter 2017 . During the conversion. and needed to adapt. the geodesic dome industry. After future projects. Peter Williams. the problems encountered are likely to become deck of the floating roof. A fter a series of issues in 2015.

again. and the on-site inspector should have seen these issues as well. In the repairs section of the standard. These two issues create a situation where everyone tries to The tank owner was frustrated as project costs were pass on the liability. mentioned that there were areas of corrosion on the roof that „ Testing floating roofs has a unique combination of challenges that make it easy for repair crews and inspectors should be patched. it expressed concern Concord Tank believes that API standard committees are about the poor work scope multiple times during the project. future corrosion. the product does not spill into the environment like it Therefore. the ‘suitability for service’ section has four and a half pages of guidelines on tank floors. its current standards do seem to create two situations the company’s foreman and project manager was to point out that are leading to problems in the field. The blasting contractor should have identified the areas and welds with serious concerns after blasting. inspected the roof. For example. there are five pages floating roof repair work. up through a hole in the floating roof deck. If a roof pulled out of service. the following patterns were noticed: Figure 1. the customer still had a roof that clear construction. more detailed work scopes due to the low quality of The job scope given to Concord Tank by the customer information provided to them by inspection companies. failure. The repair crew should have more clearly identified and communicated concerns about the condition of the roof. The engineer felt that the inspection crew should have given clearer guidance on the required repairs. Patterns emerge Upon reviewing both this project and past projects that had faced issues. When it heard about the failure. This means that in place of the the project. the owner had the factors above. during the last out of service repairs and had widespread areas „ Engineers and project coordinators often could not provide of coating failure. the leak path was not easily identifiable. „ Often engineers and tank inspectors do not have clear Concord Tank cleaned up both the roof and some of the guidelines to follow when trying to identify potential issues areas with paint failure. The above constraints made managing the project extremely difficult. guidelines for floating roofs. while the blasting and coating contractor had expressed Secondly. the inspection company said often treat floating roofs with less respect than other areas that it would need to have the roof sandblasted in order to of the tank. fails. Following this. the client’s engineer with floating roofs. combined with the After the weld repairs were completed. Meanwhile. engineers and repair contractors have fewer constraints. failure. the reduced requirements reinforce the idea that concern about the possibility of creating additional issues when floating roof repairs are not as critical as floor and shell repairs. conduct a more detailed inspection. often lead to potentially substandard roof blasted and coated. all parties involved inspection company. This was a clear project standards have limited guidelines for floating roofs. which The inspection company explained that it could not means that they have greater responsibility and liability when properly inspect a dirty floating roof with widespread coating determining what needs to be repaired on the floating roof. while only Whose fault was it? one-quarter of a page of guidelines is dedicated to floating This example illustrates many of the problems associated with roofs. correct in being careful about being overly prescriptive. inspection and repair guidelines. the first response from both However. The facility scheduled receipts to fill repairs. When the tank was The standards try to avoid being overly prescriptive. bad situation. The most dangerous issue is that it was of guidelines for floors and. the leg pinning crew observed that the The core reason coating appeared to have an issue on the centre deck. When setting up. There appears to be few clear standard applied a liner on the top side of the roof to protect from practices in the industry. Additionally. the needed to be inspected and repaired. Upon The patterns above can be traced back to how the American closer observation. marked out areas to repair and decided that „ Each engineer and co-ordinator approaches floating roofs further inspection would not be needed if they sandblasted and differently. only one-quarter of a page of easy for each party involved to place the blame elsewhere. From Concord Tank’s perspective. inspectors. so appropriately it has fewer re-cleaned. „ Floating roof repair scopes are often significantly less detailed than the work scopes of floor and shell repair projects. Winter 2017 26 . adding tens of thousands of dollars of extra cost to guidelines on floating roofs. The company expressed concern that the to miss problems. „ The budget and time constraints. the concerns they had. it was determined that product was coming Petroleum Institute (API) standards are written and structured. blasting a roof like this. This dynamic often leaves companies in a skyrocketing and the tank was still out of service. size and location of the repairs had not been marked by the „ Whether consciously or subconsciously. the tank had to be removed from service and would with a floor or shell failure. the tank and pin legs after the tank had been returned to service. External floating roof with rolling ladder. Firstly. in API 653.

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lead to floating roof failures and costly „ Acknowledge that floating roofs are currently a problem unexpected tank outages. „ Better floating roof repair practices are needed. Vacuum box welds should be used more often. inspectors and repair contractors. substandard repairs can elements that needed to change in floating roof repair projects: occur. This decision by code committees to be less prescriptive Figure 3. on floating roofs puts more responsibility on the owners. You probably know that Amsterdam is the world’s largest gasoline port and specialized in blending activities. . a red flag area is one where the field foreman or project manager is expected to hold their ground until 100% comfortable that all issues have been clearly communicated and addressed. Pretty close to perfection. But do you also know that we are extremely customer oriented. The greatest port you never thought of. in turn. the engineer to see the underlying issue can help bring about problem solving. Concord Tank has identified three core takes full ownership of the problem. When no one Based on the above. which is not a constructive perspective when trying to find an adequate solution. that we offer world class service and that due to our flexibility we make doing business easier? And it even gets better with the world’s largest sealock in 2019. Without acknowledging these issues. Concord Tank’s solution in this area. For the them with additional respect and care. which can. In the past. Visual inspections need to be treated with more respect and care. Discover our success stories on portofamsterdam. Standards should recognise when diesel tests should be held longer or were ineffective. „ Companies should communicate red flag issues. blame shifting to the engineer or inspector occurs. With more capacity and more flexibility 24/7 we aim to keep your business flowing as smoothly as possible. Conclusion The industry’s tank inspection and repair standards provide relatively few guidelines on the inspection and repair of floating roofs. Floating roof drain sump. the repair company tended to avoid scenario has been to red flag floating roof repairs and treat friction and take on additional responsibility. The core idea of the company’s new approach is that all parties need to treat floating roof repairs with more respect and care. and the industry should avoid relying too heavily on one inspection method. These parties often look to A new approach shift this additional responsibility to each other. Floating roof patch plate repair. Helping Figure 2.

the use of pressure/vacuum vents set to the IFRs are specified in preference to normal venting because maximum allowable working pressure (MAWP) of the tank will they significantly reduce vapour loss and protect profitability. They also present a significant fire hazard. Therefore. action. damaged reputations and legal atmospheric storage tanks (ASTs) at ambient temperatures. considers why internal floating roofs are used for gasoline storage. such as butanes. Loss of these light Highly volatile products. not stop the majority of the vapours escaping the tank. animals. results in large quantities of hazardous volatile organic compounds (VOCs) leaking into the atmosphere. Assentech. Ewart Cox. birds and plant life in the vicinity with the demands of customers and to keep abreast of of the tank farm. This the environment and assets. This have vapour pressures greater than the design pressure of most could lead to rejected deliveries. result in reduced product quality. UK. Tank inspections are now routinely performed in 2 29 Winter 2017 . floating roofs (IFRs) in fixed roof tanks in the terminals The most volatile elements in flammable liquids are the industry. as legislation. ends. History These vapour clouds affect profitability and the impact on IFR technology dates back to the 1950s and has evolved in line the health of people. ones that are most likely to evaporate first. A n increased focus on the environment and pressure has been demonstrated by numerous high profile tank farm on profitability has encouraged the use of internal incidents around the world. such as gasoline or gas condensate.

Note how the important. it is important that the IFR The aluminium sheeting that forms the IFR deck skin is performs effectively throughout this period. API 650 states that a gap of 100 mm should exist between the tank wall and rim channel to allow for variations in the tank wall. An extra deep extruded channel works best for this and transfers minimal torsional load Skin and pontoon IFR to the IFR frame. A persistent issue with low cost IFRs is the use of low quality rubber that breaks down. 15 – 20 year intervals. through seal failure. The skin and pontoon IFR design. which can leak through the deck seam and appurtenances such as the rim seal. the occasional key step change. However. With regards to the rim seal. leaving a small gap between the surface of the liquid and deck skin. features of an IFR when purchasing it. Fitting stainless steel shoe seals puts additional torsional load on the IFR rim channel. without the need joined along the deck channels. important that any IFR technology meets those Deck drains. the IFR structure can. leaving the ullage space unpressurised and freely ventilated. Assentech finds that PTFE fabric works best in most applications. The choice of the vapour fabric must also be compatible with the stored media and must retain flexibility throughout the life of the IFR. Low cost wiper seals wear quickly with a service life of three to five years before gapping occurs. This is potentially a large leak for intervention and maintenance. It and it has been found to be 100% leak tight. The increasing adoption of stainless Skin and pontoon vs full contact design steel shoe seals by manufacturers has been widespread. pressure vacuum vents. rather than extruded. The best designs tend to use stainless steel ‘stiffeners’ that support the seal in the space around the stilling well tube. Stilling well seals have to be flexible to accommodate the path of the tube(s) through the deck. Two of the largest recent developments have been the introduction of full contact IFRs Frame rigidity and stainless steel shoe seals. vacuum breaker. narrow section annular ring. pontoons and rim seal. This design relies entirely on flotation of the pontoons. Weak ring-beam design. section rim channel that was originally used in wiper seal type Winter 2017 30 . Tech screws can drive cost cutting on capital equipment purchases and into blind extruded channel recesses work effectively. The most common IFR construction method is the skin and Additional torsional load on the rim channel imposed by the pontoon type. 15 – 20 years at a minimum. full contact IFRs have increased in pantograph hinges of a stainless steel shoe seal requires popularity over the last decade. so testing on deck seal loss has been conducted on this method inspection schedules are likely to be pushed out even further. The integrity of the seal in the dip funnel seal is very Figure 2. space frame. It represents a major leak source if the void opens up shoe-seal is bending the frame. designed for seal tightness and are an area of focus for any The technology has evolved incrementally over time with potential buyer. demands and performs robustly at optimum level for longer manway and anti-rotation guides should be individually periods of time than ever before. should be the same as the tank inspection periods. The small vapour space between liquid surface and IFR skin equalises in pressure. Therefore. Stainless steel shoe seals offer the best long-term wear resistance over time. It consists of a deep technology have retained a folded.e. etc. Where the full vapour pressure cannot be contained by a normal AST. is the lowest cost option. skin. dip funnels and manways. including the seals and fabric. It is worth noting that the integrity of construction of these components must be to a very high level to prevent the leakage of vapours and damage from turbulence in the tank. Preventing leak paths It is important for the operator to look closely at the design Figure 1. stilling well seals. i. therefore. most often made from Some lower cost IFR manufacturers adopting this aluminium. Pontoon IFR floating position. is. The target service life for the IFR structure. Extensive concurrent pressure to prevent production outages. Assentech believes that a glass fibre sheet with two layers of pie-cut laminated fibreglass sheets is the best material for this service. additional support at the rim of the IFR. Pressure on profit margins path as it needs to be clamped down with bolts.


Winter 2017 32 . Construction materials are predominantly aluminium but there are some composite material designs available for chemical compatibility. structure overall. „ Stainless steel fasteners are essential. Some light duty IFRs are too weak to support Cost benefit analysis the weight of people walking around on top and. a payback will be achieved through lower vapour losses.54 mm. which provides a stronger showing stainless steel shoe seal assembly. The deck is made from air tight honeycomb panels that bolt Note that the leg is twisted away from a normal together using a vapour-tight joint. Again. and save on ongoing maintenance. „ Heavier construction is always a benefit in resisting turbulence and supporting personnel during inspections. „ Extruded deep section rims allow a shoe seal to be fitted Figure 4. which is an additional cost look at the important features that save money in the long-term that negates the saving of a cheaper IFR. This opening can be made to use a replaceable ‘door’. without rim reinforcement. It is generally faster to assemble due to the large size of the panels. channel and stainless steel shoe seal. It is vital that these side loads are transferred directly to the framework through rigid support brackets. brackets. However. High flow rates into the tank and mixers will cause turbulence. This is caused by landing on uneven tank subsequent leak pressure on tank penetration points. This method can distort the inner support expectancy and sealing capability. legs and pontoons is critical to the long-term integrity of the structure. which is easier to IFR frame has many advantages. This design retains the rim vertical position. which can be a very costly repair to fix. negative aspects over a lightweight version but the heavy duty „ Sheeting is fastened from the top. Pontoon end cracking due to flexing during reduces the build up of vapour pressure in this space and the operation. such as supporting at least two maintain. Legs connected to the pontoons on some lower specification IFRs have caused stress fracturing. The rigidity of the frame. „ Choose the thickest deck sheeting possible – 0. A cross-section of a full contact IFR. „ Avoiding legs that are connected to the IFR’s pontoon will ensure that fatigue cracking is mitigated against. This is particularly important when conducting internal tank inspections. creating shear forces on the pontoons and legs. The cost of manufacturing a full contact IFR is higher than skin and pontoon types because the peripheral panels need to be manufactured specifically to match the tank wall radius. This Figure 3. However. This results in the rupture of the pontoon and can lead to sinking of the IFR.6 mm thick main deck sheeting is more durable than 0. Desirable considerations include: A heavy duty pontoon IFR design has many advantages over „ Coil type anti-static/earth connection eliminates fouling a lightweight design. The common theme in this article is that companies should need to be supported by scaffolding. it will likely require a section of tank being removed to fit the panels. an avoidable issue if a robust specification and selection is completed. therefore. The use of a heavy duty design has no problems. Good IFR design practice Essential IFR design considerations include: „ Stainless steel shoe seals last longer than wiper seals and need to be factored into any long-term cost benefit analysis. which can be re-opened in future for removal of the IFR if required. decks. floors or tank turbulence caused by filling or mixers. people. causing the rim channel to fold under. Full contact design The increasingly popular full contact IFR is chosen because it has no vapour space between the liquid surface and deck. but with added stiffening ribs triangulating load back to „ A 1000 lb/ft2 load capability is important to general life the deck frame. This leaves less flexibility to adapt the structure on-site during installation.

is also a fact that cheap IFRs exist in the market place and high leak rates do not get detected until the tank is opened for Conclusion inspection after approximately 10 – 15 years. Installation Buying an IFR is only part of the story. it also has to be installed. variations on IFR technology. Detection of vapour loss is becoming easier for the Assentech hopes that this article will help purchasers to make following reasons: clear and informed choices on these important items of „ COMAH sites get monitored more frequently for emissions equipment. It is now possible to estimate the cost of vapour losses from tanks using one of a number of software packages on the market. with peace of mind for now and the long-term violations.3FRXUVHKHOSV me as the coating focal point at Sarawak Asset stainless steel shoe seal vs in determining and specifying required surface polyurethane (PU) wiper seal over SUHSDUDWLRQDQGSDLQWDSSOLFDWLRQ the life of the IFR. Assentech strongly recommends Globally Recognized. Many IFRs are bought purely on price to replace old units or listed above.QVSHFWLRQ(QJLQHHUDW6DUDZDN6KHOO%KG choices.3/HYHO&3&HUWLƮHG purchasers to make informed . „ General pressure on profitability forces operators to analyse product losses. Some manufacturers have adjusted source database in some applications to reflect their own After completing the NACE CP course. so it is wise to obtain Developed by Industry. that operators have a site specification for IFRs that incorporates all of the features nace. your experts LQWUDLQLQJDQGFHUWLƮFDWLRQ IFR. including a method new build projects that have no defined specification for IFRs. The unlucky ones Most tank farm operators earn their living from utilisation of suffer an IFR failure and have to deal with the consequences of tank storage capacity. „ Increasing product sampling prior to delivery could cause rejected loads if the product is off-specification. Each IFR is a bespoke design relating to a particular tank size. It statement on the . such as WKH&3IRFDOSRLQW7KH1$&(&. listing every aspect of the IFR. future. The team that performs the installation will impact the effectiveness and life span of the NACE Career Development. the purchase and installation of IFRs is a worthy exercise. It allows s$ULƬ6XNXU1$&(&. This is I have a better understanding of cathodic a useful tool as it gives a closer SURWHFWLRQV\VWHPVRQRƬVKRUHSODWIRUPV. EXPANDING Such programs can estimate vapour losses with a range of tank options from free vented through HORIZONS skin and pontoon type to full contact type IFRs. „ Increased levels of work-related injury claims could relate to long-term exposure to dangerous substances such as benzene. so serious attention to risk assessment of unplanned outages and the subsequent loss of revenue. Potential bidders should provide a detailed buyers have been asked to follow company guidelines on proposal.oYH used this information to assist me in deciding on estimate of emission losses for a inspection frequency during a mini-project as specific technology. references.

Winter 2017 34 . UK. Aquilar Ltd. Julian Waumsley. outlines the importance of quickly detecting leaks in hydrocarbon storage facilities.

pillages and leaks of hydrocarbon fuels within a Installing an efficient liquid hydrocarbon leak
storage facility can, at best, involve costly detection system is an important and necessary
clean-up operations and, at worst, result in large precaution that can help limit potential safety hazards,
scale environmental damage, highly dangerous damage and the costs associated with leaks and spills.
combustion risks and legal liability, all of which have Although these detection systems do not prevent leaks
additional repercussions in terms of the facility’s themselves, they alert staff to a leak almost as soon as
reputation. Whether it be jet fuel, gasoline, diesel, it occurs and can accurately pin-point its location so
crude oil or contaminated water, even a small leak can that corrective action can be taken as quickly as
cause significant damage if allowed to continue over a possible.
prolonged period of time. A good example of this can
be found within ageing tanks, where leaks from the Case study
floor plate allow product to slowly seep through a In a previous hydrocarbon leak detection project for a
corroded plate of a fractured weld, sometimes going small oil port, Aquilar found that the existing
undetected for months or even years. However, the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) based
risks associated with undetected leaks are not limited leak detection system was ineffective. This was due to
to storage facilities. They are also of significant the fact that this system relies on predictable, constant
concern when transporting or processing hydrocarbon flow rates, but the unloading operation in this scenario
fuels. In all of these scenarios, detecting and addressing was intermittent and across relatively short pipelines.
the issue quickly is paramount to preventing Consequently, even large leaks would have been able to
unnecessary damage and ensuring that repair/clean-up go completely undetected. This was of particular
costs and downtime are kept to an absolute minimum. concern to the client as the pipe system encroached

35 Winter 2017

on ecologically sensitive areas, meaning that even a TraceTek Fast Fuel Sensor (TT-FFS), shown in Figure 1.
small leak would compromise the company’s Figures 2 and 3 illustrate how TraceTek technology
environmental responsibility. works. Carbon particles are deposited in a thin film
Ordinarily, when dealing with hydrocarbon leak using a polymer base, represented by green lines in
detection in a storage facility environment, Aquilar Figure 2. Rather than using the carbon particles to
would advise the use of a sensing probe such as the create an electrical switch, this technology uses them
in this configuration to monitor the polymer status
through its electrical resistance.
Leaking liquid hydrocarbon molecules, represented
by the red lines in Figure 3, cause the polymer chains
to elongate (or swell) and carbon particles to pull
apart. After sufficient fuel (less than 1 ml) has been
absorbed into the polymer, micro-swelling occurs in
the polymer film at the point of contact. Resistance
through carbon particles increases dramatically. The
monitoring instrument detects the sudden increase in
polymer resistance and reports that a leak has been
The sensors are primarily attached to support
brackets or a float assembly within the low points of
tank bunds, bund sumps, within pump bays or adjacent
vapour recovery unit. The TT-FFS is a fast-acting
probe, designed to detect hydrocarbon fuel floating
on water, spreading on a flat surface or collecting in a
Figure 1. The TT-FFS detects liquid hydrocarbons in a dry or wet sump. The probe ignores water, but detects
few seconds.
a thin film of fuel floating on the surface. Reaction
time is typically a few seconds for light or middle
weight fuels, such as gasoline, jet fuel and diesel. It is
also responsive to crude oil, as well as some heavier
weight fuels and heating oils, but becomes
progressively slower as the fuel volatility decreases.
After detection, the sensor is easily reset and can be
re-used even after multiple detections of hydrocarbon
fuel leaks.
In this particular project, both above and below
ground piping applications needed to be taken into
consideration. TraceTek can be used for a single tank
or buried valve, or across entire terminals and storage
facilities that require many kilometres of buried and
aboveground pipes.
In aboveground storage tanks, for example, the
Figure 2. Low resistance in normal conditions. main consideration within the bund is detection of
any hydrocarbon liquid above ground from a breach in
the tank wall or failure around one of the side
connections (import/export pipes), access hatches or
flanged joint. Leakage from the elbow of an internal
rainwater pipe could allow product to flow directly
into the bund and cause an overfill. For this
application, the TraceTek TT5000 fuel sensor cable is
used to monitor the soil under and around fuel
carrying pipes and tanks (Figure 4). The sensing cable
can be attached to an aboveground pipe, buried in the
ground below a tank, or placed alongside a pipeline
with a perforated slotted conduit to detect
hydrocarbon fuels whilst ignoring water.
Therefore, having assessed the requirements of the
small oil port client, Aquilar suggested using this
Figure 3. High resistance in contact with liquid sensing cable for its ability to report the leak and its
hydrocarbons. location, typically to +/- 1 m, via the sensor’s
monitoring electronics. Tests have proven that it takes

Winter 2017 36

Canada and Europe United Riverhead Terminal. The provides capacity for up to 127 circuits and 1500 m of sensing cable was secured to the bottom side of the sensing cable per circuit. viewing of status and alarms.. (631) 284-2010 www. For the buried portion of the pipeline. These range from Figure 4. Conclusion Various instrumentation options are available to monitor leak detection cables. .urtny. In this case. a slotted PVC conduit was placed in the pipe trench on the same layer of sand that the single wall fuel pipeline rests upon. all of the For the aboveground piping. Aquilar supplied the sensing cables were monitored by a single TTDM-128 TT5000 sensing cable with an external black polyester alarm panel. the U. The conduit also allows the sensor to be pulled out after an alarm has been triggered. digitally locating them within 1 m. prior to burial. East Coast • 20 storage tanks 80 miles East of New York Harbor • Total Storage Capacity of 5 Million Barrels • The only deep-water loading/unloading platform on • Easy reloading for distribution of product to U. the sensor cable. The only deep water platform (64’ operating draft) on the U. client had for the future pipeline expansion. was drawn into the conduit system whilst it was being assembled. The slotted conduit provides mechanical protection to the sensing cable whilst the slots allow any leaking liquid hydrocarbon fuels to contact the sensing cable. far exceeding any plans the aboveground pipelines.S. leak indicators (ATEX certified). It shield protection for the sensor cable within. the TT5000 was used again but was installed in a different way. high-intensity flashing LED above and below ground applications. which provides an effective ultraviolet (UV) spreading leaks. East Coast. After the heavy pipeline work was completed. to SIL-2 controllers and standalone alarm panels with digital display and fully integrated solutions for an existing SCADA system. which is capable of detecting multiple or rope layer.S. approximately one hour for the detection cable to Web-enabled solutions are also available for remote initiate leak detection and trigger a leak alarm.S. with an over braid of polyethylene rope. Strategically located petroleum bulk storage facility. TraceTek TT5000 fuel sensing cable for simple battery-powered.

PLANNING FOR PREVENTION Bill Sholette. use or store requires the installation of new or upgrading existing chemicals and other hazardous liquids. Endress+Hauser. For industries where SPCC The best solution for mitigating the damage and extent plans are not mandated or required. and counter measure (SPCC) plan is required as part of the normal operation for Overfill prevention storage vessels (Figure 1). the facility to prevent possible injury to personnel. it is best practice of spills is preventing them from happening in the first to incorporate them into the standard procedures of place. one happens. overfill prevention and leak detection As the name implies. control. damage to facilities and contamination of the considers the benefits of effective environment. an SPCC plan is designed to first prevent a spill from happening. and employ counter measures to mitigate I the damage and extent of the spill. USA. prevention. Instrumentation exists to monitor the contents 3 39 Winter 2017 . All of this usually n most industries that manufacture. a spill level instrumentation. control a spill if in chemical storage vessels.

where the switch is immersed in process liquid to ensure that it works. Testing these switches on a regular basis to ensure their integrity should be part of the SPCC plan. the only accepted method to ensure the performance of the switch may be to remove it from the vessel for testing. from the control room validates the functionality of a high-high switch. and it may not work correctly once reinstalled. service for years without activation from a high level. such as vibrating tuning forks (Figure 2). Some plants rely on continuous level technologies. The switch could be damaged during reinstallation. provide an alarm when the material in the vessel reaches a dangerously high condition. However. For these reasons. Testing a Model FTL81 level switch in-situ vessel level. High-high level switches should include a function test feature to ensure integrity. capacitance. guided wave radar or ultrasonic transmitters. It is also specifically disallowed according to American Petroleum Institute (API) 2350 recommended practices for aboveground storage tanks. Their reasoning for this is that with a continuous level measurement they would know if something was wrong with the level instrument. Therefore. of the vessel and provide an alarm in the event of an overfill event or leak. they can be in usually requires improved level instrumentation. Because high-high level switches are mounted Figure 1. this standard states that high-high level switches must be tested on a regular basis without raising the level to a dangerously high condition. However. If the high level switch fails. A FTL81 high-high level switch mounted testing incurs costs due to downtime and lost above the level switch detects the normal maximum production. recommended best practices dictate that instruments used to prevent accidental overfilling and spills should be separate from the instruments used for gauging the Figure 3. such as free space radar. remove the switch. raising the process to an unsafe level to test the switch is not a good idea. while reducing maintenance and There are a number of level switch technologies downtime. For this and other reasons. including vibrating tuning forks. Instead. High level overfill prevention switches. Depending on the type of point level switch being used. This is typically conducted in a bucket test. Removing a switch for Figure 2. and personnel must be available to fill point. upset conditions in the process (such as foam. and are well-established and reliable. These products have been used for years. having an ability to test the switch and verify functionality is critical. This switch is often called a high-high level switch as it is mounted above the high level switch that is used to indicate the normal stop fill point of the tank. for high-high overfill prevention applications. it is better to use a point level switch that can be tested in-situ (Figure 3). condensation and build-up) can cause false readings. the high-high level switch prevents the tank from overfilling. for overfill prevention. negating the test. Spill prevention in chemical storage tanks above the normal maximum fill point. Winter 2017 40 . perform the test and reinstall the switch.

fact. alerting operators of a level decreases when the liquid in the tank is not possible leak or spill. Vessels. accuracy needs to be measured in is necessary to remove this water in order to maintain fractions of millimeters. valves and fittings can also leak. Radar level gauges can the volume of the dike at an appropriate amount in provide accuracy of 0. etc. such as Endress+Hauser’s during inactivity. Even rain water approximately 235 l of fluid that has leaked out.5 mm (Figure 4). storage tank. The level instrument these small changes and determine when the level is must be very accurate to provide an indication if the dropping when it should not. has this capability. pipes. temperature. it is important to be certain that the technology selected for the include temperature compensation as part of the high-high switch is appropriate for the application tank gauging instrumentation. Without compensation. accumulating after a storm should be detected as it Because of this. and the monitoring system could then provide an alarm. Tankvision. Leak detection Using a software program to monitor the level The first line of defence in vessel leak detection is a instrument measurement is the best way to detect continuous level instrument. Modern PC-based tank actively being lowered. an The second line of leak detection is to provide a unexpected drop in level of just 3 mm represents level switch inside the retention dike.1˚C are required for this application.ultrasonic gap switches. Accuracy of the temperature measurement important to be able to detect a spill or leak as is important for providing proper compensation. It is changed. points and accuracy of 0. resulting in a spill. For many the event of an actual spill or leak. Watching the dike For example. This is required and. quickly as possible to mitigate the extent of the Temperature sensors with multiple measurement release and potential damage. as previously indicated. these changes Even the best overfill prevention plan can in volume will look like changes in level when. the actual contents of the tank have not pumps. floats. can provide a functional because the volume of many hydrocarbons and in-situ integrity check to ensure it will operate in an chemicals expands or contracts with changes in actual emergency. it would indicate a leak in the tank. If the level starts to decrease monitoring software. It is important to hydrocarbons and chemicals. in a 10 m dia. . in sometimes go wrong.

it is possible to indicate what accumulating in the retention dike will provide a liquid is present. such The primary goal of an SPCC plan should be to as tuning forks. as is typically the case in retention dikes due to the accumulation of rain water. but can indicate if the liquid is high-high level instruments is imperative to ensure conductive or non-conductive. both the response plan can be quickly executed. can faster the facility can control the incident and detect when the level is dropping during inactivity. and direct emergency procedures such non-conductive liquids. Personnel need to know how to respond. a well-defined response to mitigate potential damage is required. a tuning fork and the conductivity switch report an comprehensive response plan and training will absence of liquid. A well-planned and well-practiced response plan will limit the damage and reduce the hazard. This helps determine the switch will operate when needed. pumps to move vessel contents to a safe storage vessel. alerting personnel and documenting the spill. For example. as shutting off pumps. Along with the facility’s personnel. are best suited for this application. and the plan needs to react to each type of hazard. Prompt level switch technologies mounted on a float notification of a leak or spill will allow for a rapid (Figure 5). floating dikes. Essentially. any accumulation of liquid within the dike. Monitoring liquids conductivity switch. notification of regional emergency groups and authorities should also be included. Winter 2017 42 . When the dike is filled with a non-conductive liquid. etc. indicating a spill or leak of a hydrocarbon or a non-conductive chemical. Finally. liquid presence. indicating a leak or spill. timely indication that an incident has occurred so a When the dike is empty of all liquid. the tuning fork shows presence of a liquid but the conductivity switch does not. both the reduce the severity of the incident damage to a tuning fork and the conductivity switch indicate minimum. A risk assessment of each storage vessel’s contents and the potential damage that a spill or leak could produce needs to be considered. respond appropriately. Proper selection of There are also specialty instruments that can not instruments for overfill prevention provides the best only indicate the presence of the liquid within the solution to avoid spills. If there is an accumulation of rain water and a spill of a non-conductive liquid occurs and floats on the surface of the water. Figure 5. An contents for level changes is the next objective. If the dike is full of water. By combining a vibrating tuning fork and a response and limit the damage. if the liquid is accumulated rain water or a spill of a Using tank gauging instruments to monitor vessel hydrocarbon or non-conductive chemical. requires a response. be it water or a chemical. the software can detect the detection to provide indication of conductive and leak or spill. The level instruments reviewed above can provide this early indication. and know what equipment is at their disposal to mitigate the incident. A procedure for testing these retention dike. Summary As such. Equipment would include spill clean-up products. To ensure that an appropriate response is taken. absorption material. Once an incident occurs. Control and counter measure Figure 4. The Endress+Hauser Model NAR300 leak Tank inventory management software can help in detection switch combines vibration and conductivity this regard. the Endress+Hauser's radar level transmitter. switches to reliably indicate any liquid. as example of this type of instrument incorporates two this will detect leaks and minor spills. the floating design of the sensor assembly still indicates the non-conductive liquid. planning and training prior to an incident is required. such as The quicker a spill or leak can be identified. An accurate level instrument. This assumes the water is conductive. prevent spills from happening.

below a minimum threshold. With point level. discussed within this article. below or above a specific point. the measurement conditions used to prevent overfilling of the tank or dropping the level and the tank itself are other factors to consider. Varec Inc. this method is The type of liquid in the tank. includes point the only specification when making business decisions. and radar. 4 43 Winter 2017 . Continuous level is designed Tank gauges fall into the following categories: manual. outlines key points to consider when selecting the most suitable gauge for tank level measurement. investment of the system itself. The and continuous level methods. and the associated costs of instruments are used to detect whether a fluid is materials. Each of these will be support general inventory or process control. labour and maintenance should be considered. L evel measurement. This system should be chosen based on data specifications technique uses graduated dip sticks or dip tapes. but no particular instrument or measuring level and to verify performance calibration. There are many tank Manual tank gauging is still commonplace today as a way of gauging systems available. USA.. Tank gauging is often synonymous with the term ‘level measurement’ as these devices enable the level Manual measurement process to take place. alone. Adam Wishall. as it relates to oil and gas. to understand the amount of liquid within the tank to float and tape. Nor should the accuracy of a level-based system be petrochemicals and hydrocarbons. servo. Typically.

„ Add temperature in addition to the level measurement from both float and tape and radar gauges. it is the most expensive type of gauge on the market. skilled personnel are required to perform to the motor’s control circuit. The application. and no power is required. Benefits of this level measurement method include: a high level of accuracy. the float on the liquid.e. When connected to standalone float and tape gauges. When used in combination with advanced gauging technologies. and only occasional maintenance should be This method works by using a large float inside the tank. Mark/Space. As the liquid level rises and checks. tank bottom). Biphase Mark. which balances chemicals. signal. i. but it does not float on the liquid. An electronic transmitter sends the tank to take measurements. A gauge board on a tank. the negator spring is replaced by a counterweight tank. spot density or multi-spot density Also known as ‘automatic tank gauges’. transmitters do the following: „ Help visualise gauge data via the control room system. negator spring provides constant tension. It is also extremely reliable and Radar simple to use. levels are high enough for most operations that do not need custody transfer accuracy. MODBUS. LNG. „ Integrate with multiple protocols. water level and the gauges have been in the marketplace for nearly 90 years. The and ease of use. The liquid level in the tank is displayed on the maintenance and calibration activities must be on the top gauge counter or indicated on the gauge board. The gauge must also be on the top of the by the drive motor. displacer instead of a float. optical. magnetic. attached to a negator spring via a perforated tape. magnetic coupling and the wire drum of the servo unit. marketplace. system. The perforated tape engages pins on Drawbacks of this level measurement method include: a sprocket wheel that. is sent However. from simple indication of alarms. Most transmitters use an incremental or absolute encoder with brush.e. This method is a preferred solution for clean. kerosene. communications must be at the top of the level. The weight of the displacer is balanced against a extremely low instrumentation costs. necessary. „ Integrate with multiple protocols. They are a ‘downward-looking’ measuring Float and tape transmitters vary in their capabilities and system that must be installed on the roof of a tank. it can provide other variables in Float and tape addition to level (i. i. with a local mechanical level indication that does not require power. MODBUS. drives the counter assembly.e. It must be suspended by a thin wire that is connected to the servo gauge on top of Benefits of this level measurement method include: the tank. transmitters can: „ Provide redundancy and back-up level measurement. and it typically requires a stilling well. The refined liquids. etc. no need for power. to level gauges measure the distance from the reference point to encoding and temperature measurement integration. which results in potential level information over a field bus to the control room. or capacitive sensors. the position of the displacer is automatically adjusted human errors. an indication of the position of the displacer. electrical signal for transmission over an instrumentation field bus or communications loop. „ Use standard net volume or mass calculations for accounting. the liquid surface. Servo Servo gauges are electromechanical gauges that use a small Figure 1. Radar impulses are emitted by an Transmitters convert the measurement parameter to an antenna. reflected off the product’s surface and received Winter 2017 44 . Mark/Space. such as gasoline. The displacer has buoyancy. „ Integrate temperature to have multivariable measurement. it Alternatively. Also. and accuracy is not as high due to the potential for falls. The main drawback Radar tank gauges have become very popular in the of this method is that occasional maintenance is necessary. exposure to product or fumes. of the tank where there is potential exposure to the The cost of the device is moderate and its accuracy product or fumes. jet fuel. up to three liquid interfaces. „ Integrate gauge data into a programmable logic controller (PLC) or distributed control system (DCS). when a gauge board is used to display the requires power. float and tape profile. in turn. Biphase Mark.

USJOJUZDPOTVMUBOUTDPNr. This method is not recommended for all products. tank farms and terminals.). Float and tape gauges can be installed on the tank side or on the roof of this kind of tank. Floating roof tanks are broadly divided into internal Benefits of this level measurement method include: it floating roof (IFR) and external floating roof (EFR) tanks. water. it must be installed Your EHS Issues are Our Issues perfectly level and not be too close to the tank wall). and it is complementary for a wide medium flash point liquids (such as naphtha. Fixed roof tanks Fixed (cone. bitumen. performance is impacted by placement (i. kerosene. dome or umbrella) roof tanks are the most common and identifiable bulk storage tanks. and there is potential exposure to product or fumes when We support your operations from every angle to ensure on top of the tank. no maintenance is IFR tanks are used for liquids with low flashpoints (such as needed aside from occasional cleaning. > Environmental EEn nvironm i n enttall impact impa im p ct assessment pa men e t The importance of tank > Specialized S i li d expertise tii in i air i quality llilit assessmentt type and emissions management There are several common storage tanks for bulk liquids and. Servo and radar gauges must be installed on the tank roof. > Extensive E xttens tensiive i ve professional prof p ofes fessi sion ionall training tra raiini ining ing on EHS EHS ttopics opic op pics cs Generally speaking. in refineries.e. the floating roof. there is no direct gasoline. The addition of a fixed roof reduces environmental emissions and provides additional strength to allow slightly higher storage pressures than that of atmosphere. crude oil. while EFR tanks are suitable for contact with the liquid. Tanks are chosen according to the flash point of liquid stored. interpreted as level measurement. Many the tank. maintenance and calibration activities must be on the top of the tank. a particular tank gauge or > Environmental and explosion modeling software measurement solution may be more > EHS E information management manage g ment solutions suitable. provides a high level of accuracy. variety of liquids. with functions to suppress interference echoes (such as which acts as a safety and pollution prevention device by from edges and weld seams) in the tank so they are not trapping the vapour from low flashpoint products. the fixed roof. etc. effective EHS strategy and streamlined EHS data management such as those with a low dielectric constant. heavy oil.again by the radar system.). radar tank gauges need to be equipped the peripheral space between the roof and shell plate. Drawbacks include: high costs in high accuracy Float and tape gauges commonly use a pan/well inside applications. are predominant. Due to the nature in lieu of. They range in sizes up to 98 ft (30 m) tall x 328 ft (100 m) wide and are used to store liquids with very high flash points. kerosene. including heavy asphalt and crude oil. etc. The distance to the liquid Floating roof tanks surface is proportional to the travel time of the impulse or Some storage tanks need a floating roof in addition to. A sealing device is installed on of the microwave. or frequency shift of the transmitted signal. depending > Air quality permitting and compliance management on the tank type or mounting options. such as fuel oil. etc. communication must be at the top of platform to mount the gauge over the product. Servo and radar gauges require a gauging power is required. diesel. ethanol. the method only provides level measurement. aboveground fixed roof tanks or floating roof tanks Contact us for a complimentary consultation at +1 (972) 661-8100. diesel oil.

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facilities can Figure 2. physical inventory Underground storage tanks reconciliation. cylindrical or spherical storage tanks are used to store liquefied gases with very low flash points (LNG. received. Product movements and operations Facility operators use logistics processes to plan daily activities. Whether a company is looking for a better way to track and measure bulk liquid assets. enhance automated Inventory or custody transfer processes. An accurate level measurement system is at parties have an agreed system for accurately measuring the the core for building more efficient operational processes amount of product transferred. as well as the ability to have supervisory control of pumps and valves. emissions of environmentally damaging products are now Gauge sticks. Custody transfer implies that two or more place to start. Bulk storage probes are commonly used with these tanks. transferred and products that support facility operations. In the US. This means that facility operators must correctly and installed horizontally or vertically. Accounting and reconciliation ethylene. Organisations are type of level measurement is actually required. facility. They are regulated to prevent to review trends and take appropriate actions. are highly Underground storage tanks are commonly used to store recommended. and accounting of the products stored in cylindrical tanks with round or flat ends that are prefabricated tanks. fuels to run refinery processes or byproducts. percentages on a daily. Flat-bottomed. instrument viability and repeatability is often more important than absolute accuracy. Level measurement is likely only one factor in the equation. also establish alarm limits based on their reaction time to track data – in real time. Tank gauging systems may in tank farms and terminals. the maximum flow rate and increase the amount of inventory to sell by effectively gaining more storage space Sphere and bullet tanks in the tank while still ensuring safety. This process enables operations to increase surface to enable accurate measurements. The ideal solution should also allow users petroleum-based products. the release of petroleum and contamination of groundwater. Winter 2017 46 . Bullet tanks are long. It may be necessary to have complete integration and functionality to view and track all product movement totals and discrepancies. airports and tank farms. issued. as transmix from terminal product receipts. Accounting and reconciliation for these tanks due to their size and the products stored. As such. with custom programming. Bullet tanks can Managing gains or losses within industry standard also store liquefied gases under pressure. including inventory ledgers by product and owner. servo or magnetostrictive technologies are ideal extremely important. facilities typically desire a solution that can integrate with instruments that are already installed to provide and Going beyond level measurement manage alarms that help detect leaks. repeatability or the ability This article is not intended to answer every question. This can be Requirements for the management of bulk liquids are accomplished using an inventory management system or unique for each organisation that operates a storage custom PLC programming. level measurement is the moved or used. they store report the volume stored. and reporting tools. Ideally. measurement. tank level sensors or magnetostrictive in place and must be adhered to by facilities. Most often. while notifications happen at the platforms provide a stilling well as a stable and calm control panel. It is important to understand what the impact on managing bulk liquids. A petrochemical tank farm. more cost-effective. Some tank farms require management of injection. encouraged to complete their own due diligence. meter reconciliation. These systems tend to be out-of-the-box and are. leaks and bases. solutions. streamline inventory Inventory control describes the management of liquid accounting and reconciliation. such as additives for moved. such commingled inventory and reporting by the product owner. There are four key areas that should be Conclusion considered to understand operational needs. to perform multiple measurements. LPG. they are primarily used at Environmental compliance automobile filling stations. However. therefore. increase process control. or improve safety inventories that generally do not change ownership when regulations within a tank farm. be selected based on accuracy. With an inventory management system. the data collected through the tank gauges should feed into a centralised inventory management system. but can also be found at military Programmes and regulations relating to overfills. butane and ammonia) under pressure or at It is critical for facilities to have timely and accurate level temperatures under -148°F (-100°C). weekly and monthly basis is also Radar. and can vary but rather provide an overview on level measurement and significantly in cost. a PLC or DCS can also be used.

large storage tanks for crude 4 47 Winter 2017 . Tanks and tank farms may be in extreme or widely varying climates. It is ubiquitous across tank farms. Most obviously. measurement is critical but not complex. managing levels is critical. resulting in changing or challenging ambient temperatures. Poland. In many of these cases. and operators can choose from a wide range of available technologies. and loading and unloading sites. detecting leaks and avoiding dry-runs that damage accurate level measurement in pumps. level measurements are required not just for the main. Solutions.A MOVING TARGET I t is impossible to manage what cannot be measured. and Adam Krolak. For example. though. More widely. Even in these circumstances. and the properties of the liquids in some tanks may vary by batch or product specification. with heavy fractions and impurities at the bottom of the tank. efficiency and reliability. Honeywell Process across hydrocarbon processing. Such cases make consistent and reliable measurement more difficult to achieve. offsites. measured liquids may be sticky and coating. challenges can arise. level measurement is key to the monitoring and control of terminals. storage areas. discusses From monitoring inventories and supply chains to preventing overfills. accurate level measurement is essential to safety. dynamic applications. each of which has its own strengths and weaknesses.

„ Small tank dimensions require measurement close to the top and bottom of the tank. crude oil essential during refining: for input storage. level measurement at the bottom of a distillation tower controls the ‘bottoms’ product. but in many cases significantly more Measurements are crucial across crude processing: at challenging to achieve. condensation. reflux accumulator. which is hot. and at „ The headspace of a separator contains pressurised. turbulent process with foaming. should also be factored in when choosing a measurement technology. conditions are turbulent: preflash. giving noisy measurements with some level technologies. the distillation column. foaming. separators wet gas with the possibility of condensation. dewatering. „ The liquid surface in high pressure separators may be In many of these applications. leading to build-up and fouling. present across crude storage. as well as during Crude processing applications chemical injection and vapour recovery. Smooth operation of the preflash drum. for crude storage. heated. dehydration. Guided wave radar (GWR) operating principle. but also across many of these same processes. in the distillation columns. dynamic. They are also Right at the outset with initial separation of gas. put under pressure. Accurate measures are critical at almost every Accurate level measurements are just as crucial in stage of hydrocarbon processing. is critical for efficient performance of the main distillation unit. desalting and degassing. measurements are not bubbling and foaming. and can contain impurities and be sticky (coating). The fluid can also be volatile and may be at bubble point. moved. dehydration and degassing. Hydrocarbon production is a a separator. these applications. again. density. dielectric constant or the measured material abound throughout the process. despite foaming and fouling is. Each stage of the process has its own issues. and continuous operation means long periods between maintenance during which operators need reliable measurements. for example. for example. And so it goes on. Interface measurement is particularly key. Meanwhile. and so on. at the and water. while lighter products in the upper part of the column have low dielectric constant. flare knockout and compressor drums. to a greater or lesser extent. Agitation. corrosive properties. at the vapour recovery stage. on the surface of the liquid. not just during separation. These measures must account for densities of the measured liquids that change at startup – creating difficulties for measurements based on pressure or displacement – and foaming. „ A degree of emulsion is present in both high pressure It is smaller tanks where crude or product is being and low pressure separators. taking place in large tanks with relatively static product. operators need accurate measurement of liquefied hydrocarbon vapours in a flash drum or output tank. mixed. dust and construction of the tank Figure 2. „ There are cold temperatures and the presence of vapours above the surface of the measured liquid. or gasoline. Meanwhile. The need to provide accurate measurements properties. Figure 1. There are countless other examples. pressure. A tightly focused propagation path. Changes in temperature. Refining measurement The challenges during refining are no less significant. The challenges are again significant: „ The low dielectric constant of liquefied hydrocarbons results in a small reflection signal for measurement technologies relying on one. the well stream separator. Winter 2017 48 . Many of these issues are present across other expansion and constant changes in the liquids’ processes. blended and „ Residue and contamination gathers on the bottom of having chemicals added. chemical injection.

such as ultrasonic measurement. also offer lower lifecycle costs. including bubbler. the measurement signal for .888. Electronic methods.1166 Phone: 918.cadle@mesaproducts. GWR is simple to Ultrasonic measurement is perhaps a stronger install. in some applications. installation and maintenance - the GWR is concentrated around the we are the single source solutions provider for terminal operators waveguide (or inside it in the case of a coaxial waveguide). has moved atmosphere in the tank (vapours. engineering. as well as an application falling within a limited operating pressure and temperature range. mark.0791 Phone: 330-283-0453 tim. Unlike mechanical or other electronic methods. well with changes in the specific gravity.keldsen@mesaproducts. These can measurement. Subject Matter Expert Corrosion Control Expert Corrosion Solutions Business Development Phone: 303.3355 Phone: 419. „ 1. the checklist of requirements for a measurement technology that is suitable across hydrocarbon processes is significant.800. dust or foaming. hydrostatic and differential-pressure instruments. dust or heavy vapours. „ Insensitive to changes in density or dielectric constant.The choice of technology The electromagnetic pulses used by the GWR and To some extent. the choice of technology has already waveguide also give it much greater immunity to the narrowed. and includes the following: „ Maintenance-free level measurement. even with turbulent surfaces of the measured product. while capacitance level measurement upper product and provide measurement of the lower can.assessment. ultrasonic signal clear of obstacles and foams. Nevertheless. The waveguide can be mounted on an angle or even formed to follow the contours of an irregularly shaped Tim Whited Max Moll Mark Cadle Jay Keldsen VpCI® and CorroLogic™ Tanks and Terminals Director Director tank. dielectric constant of the measured product. be affected by changes in the product. the these are all sensitive to changes in the density of the waveguide allows the measuring signal to penetrate the measured product. changes in many away from manual and mechanical level temperature and pressure. It also copes However. as well as safety. Compared to ultrasonic meters or even non-contact radar (another the complete tank floor and external corrosion control package alternative). „ Ability to cope with a wide range of pressures and temperatures.whited@mesaproducts. The signal travels along a waveguide that can be made of a stiff metallic rod. it requires a path for the holes or nozzles. with no moving parts particularly affect technologies relying on mechanical and built-in diagnostics.998. Meanwhile.589. This narrow signal propagation path (Figure 2) minimises the potential impact of stray signals caused by construction elements or obstacles in the tank. mesaproducts. or foaming). The drive towards automation and influence of the mechanical properties of the uninterrupted production. flexible wire or a coaxial construction (Figure 1). Finally. with no need for an antenna. „ Immunity to heavy vapours.MESA (6372) .com max.204. A good aim GWR instruments send electromagnetic pulses to the product and use the time of travel of the reflected signal to calculate the level in the tank. a range of options remain. In fact. The waveguide fits easily through narrow mounting contender. guided wave radar (GWR) can meet these demands. But when measuring interfaces (such as oil on water).

probe and tank For this reason. build-up. some applications can challenge such as gain. in-tank obstacles. complex processes involved present. such as Figure 3. width and attenuation. type of liquid. but the precise technology employed is also experience gathered through experimentation and critical. it will track the level signal. process connection. turbulence. once the sensor has locked onto the correct level. if not all. the true level measurements – whatever challenges the dynamic. This model can be adjusted with parameters In practice. Theory and practice whether due to temperature. The correlation method also allows users to filter out and selectively follow small reflections from the surface of liquids with small dielectric constants (including liquefied gases. Hydrocarbon processing site. hydrocarbon processing is critical because the Usually this distinction between the reflection from applications are both varied and demanding. This supplements the pulse model determined by the user-defined parameters with historic measurement data. combined with the company’s internal method. In these cases. GWR can meet most. temperature. its performance or build-up of films on the probe. Thin interfaces. strongest signal from the (hopefully weaker) interference. fouling. It is a measurement model of the expected reflection (stored in the principal with many significant inherent advantages. Winter 2017 50 . the sensor is pre-programmed with default values for parameters determined by the dielectric constants of the liquids being measured. These can be easily adjusted at any stage. it can adapt to changes resulting from varying conditions in the tank. the level) can be distinguished from echoes caused by obstacles near the probe or secondary reflections originating from multiple reflections of the radar signal in the tank. There are the surface and other factors is done through a simple few viable alternatives that can meet the requirements peak-finding algorithm. of the requirements. is heavily dependent on the ability to discern the correct signal (reflection) from interference. even when the amplitude of it changes. and other issues can all The choice of level measurement method in still cause challenges. This is not always entirely possible in more challenging It has strong immunity to the common foaming. with amplitudes up to 35% different to those expected from the pre-programed parameters. however. The level algorithm used in Honeywell’s Smartline laboratory work. signal reflected from the liquid surface (and therefore turbulent. the choice of not just the measurement properties. and tank To address this. Where the attenuation of the material measured changes during the process in the tank. transmitter builds on the inherent advantages of GWR By overlaying the actual echo curve of the signal with a unique model-based comparison for more accurate captured by the GWR on the model (Figure 3). turbulence Despite the inherent advantages of GWR. vapour density. Fine tuning To set the model. and is based on the even GWR to deliver consistently reliable measurements. which attempts to separate the of the many challenging applications across the process. applications. instrument). LPG and other light hydrocarbons). Echo curve and model compared to confirm the true signal. Thus. Honeywell’s GWR uses an auto-amplitude tracking feature. probe Conclusion ends. Honeywell has developed a unique characteristic issues – and many other challenges to algorithm that compares the signal with an internal accurate level measurement. This feature enables the instrument to track signals Figure 4. however. pressure. build-up.

to 5 51 Winter 2017 . need to explore new areas of process optimisation. ABB. which can repair equipment too often or too little. Integrating automation. D igital business transformations are about doing things differently – creating new business designs using digital solutions to deliver more value to businesses. such as telecommunications. people and processes. safety and other systems. For example. Sluggish global growth and the highly commoditised market for petroleum products mean that downstream companies. one way to minimise downtime is to take full advantage of today’s availability of inexpensive. Juan Tapia. such as tank and terminal operators. non-intrusive sensors and real time asset monitoring systems. considers whether digitalisation is more than just a passing trend in downstream tank and terminal operations. one key question is whether this is a passing trend or a truly transformative opportunity. can save companies 20 – 30% in capital and operating expenditures. These devices make it possible for companies to shift away from time-based maintenance strategies. Spain. While it seems that everyone is talking about these digital solutions.

orders can be processed automatically with the relevant information being quickly fed into the company’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system for faster processing and reconciliation. Avoiding unnecessary repairs is not only cheaper Digitalisation can speed up the tasks that are needed due to reduced frequency. Valid access is granted through card Figure 2. today. Digitalisation can also reduce the risk of loading incorrect quantities of product by ensuring real time control of product delivery. For example. Instead. Order management Instead of receiving orders via fax or email. While digitalisation can add value in a number of areas within a terminal. Site access Trucks. The not to be put back to the correct parameters once generation and printing of bills of lading can also be maintenance procedures have been performed. distance (source: CLH). automated for even greater efficiency. Case studies Digitalisation in terminals Two large industry players have already used a range of Traditionally. such as radio frequency identification (RFID). Digitalisation In addition to improved maintenance strategies. increasing throughput. with the new technology available financial performance. This delivers more flexible operations and minimises downtime. Additionally. Doing so can to calculate product gains and losses. Trucks are filled automatically with the product matching the order they have come to pick up (source: CLH). the most visible of these is in its potential to automate processes such that revenues are increased through faster loading and costs are cut through error minimisation and personnel reductions. Operators monitor terminal activity from a readers. rail wagons and barges no longer need to wait as long for manual verification and permission to enter for loading or unloading purposes. which reduces the scope for manual mistakes and improves communication between local terminals and headquarters. reducing risk and ensuring enhanced profitability and safety. the company has the Inventory balancing opportunity to take proactive action before it fails. Winter 2017 52 . through optimising resources. but this also minimises the to perform the loading and unloading of products. while maintaining high levels of security. calculating the theoretical product terminal to an enterprise level. which requires costly and time-consuming manual intervention with scope for mistakes. it is possible to increase terminal efficiency by reducing or better balancing inventory needs. such opportunities for things to go wrong. tank or terminal operations. Five general areas tend to benefit most from automation: Figure 1. it is as verifying orders. etc. helps operators to calculate the difference between another way that technology can help downstream expected yields and actual values more accurately. iris scanners. automated access control technology can allow trucks to enter and exit terminals quickly. or even along the quantities and conducting timely product reconciliations hydrocarbon supply and demand chain. yield benefits from both a cost-saving and revenue-generating perspective. terminals have been primarily operated ABB AbilityTM digital solutions to improve their manually. This players generate competitive advantages is by is achieved through maintaining a real time record of all improving visibility beyond an individual plant. ones that are more heavily based on actual equipment Product receipt and dispatch needs. Product inflows and outflows are dynamic. However. CLH loading bays. generating transaction not uncommon for equipment that has been maintained documentation and monitoring volume changes. Loading This article will explore how terminals can use Product and additive recipe calculations can be digital advances to extract significant financial value automated to improve speed and avoid manual errors. if a company’s equipment indicates that it is likely to break down soon.

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The programme began with the construction of two new ‘standard’ terminals in Bucharest and the Petrobrazi refinery. shipping document facilities – mainly gasolines. in the case studies presented in this article. enables it to transport refinery output to different the substantive ERP integration enables the quick storage and distribution centres. including truck Compañía Logística de Hidrocarburos (CLH) stores. Case study two OMV Petrom is an integrated oil and gas group in Southeastern Europe. fuel oils. CLH is in the process of making all 40 of its As with CLH. for error and maintaining a tighter grip on product inflows and outflows. minimising its potential Dangerous Goods by Road. disposition. ADR* inspection. automatic Its main business involves receiving oil products at its inventory reconciliation. The company then delivers these materials to This system allows real time visibility and feedback to its customers through its tank truck loading facilities. reporting. and driver authorisation. rest of its network. the project will evolve to upgrade existing terminals with an automation solution. and automatic tank gauging. access is controlled via truck RFID verification and both companies enjoy improved revenues and reduced driver magnetic card scanning. with an annual oil and gas production of approximately 64 million boe in 2016.. improved order facilitated by its integration of ABB’s System 800xA. Bill of lading generation. Digitalisation pays by streamlining procedures to A handful of operators at an offsite location use provide greater scope for revenue growth. bay allocation. if necessary. is also automated. via profitable to deliver significant cost savings through voice over internet protocol (VoIP). under two brands – Petrom and OMV. such that it can now intensive setup. integration with ERP. before sending the retrieval and updating of order information and product on to a range of end users. loading control. downstream tank and terminal operators. Site significantly fewer operators than before. which trail at every stage of terminal operations. sealing. as well as a comprehensive audit CLH owns an oil pipeline network of 4020 km. This speeds up a process costs than experienced previously under their manually that formerly took up to 60 min. integrated CCTV to monitor terminal activity from a Concurrently. they operate with installations remotely supervised and controlled. It is present on the oil products retail markets in Romania and neighbouring countries through 784 filling stations. As a result. This accelerates the process by approximately 10 min. Additionally. so much so and communication with the relevant tax authorities to that. Winter 2017 54 . OMV Petrom has experienced significant automate rail. The company already has 24 of its facilities are not entirely unmanned. The plan is to eventually Figure 3. accuracy and enhanced system-wide visibility of Through total automation of its terminals. drivers and operators. products. been able to increase its revenues significantly as more trucks can enter the terminal each day. while its management system. each authorise the product movement. operational results. Over time. aviation creation. company is working to increase its level of automation. Trucks proceed to their designated loading area to be filled Conclusion automatically with the product matching the order Digitalisation offers real and substantive benefits to they have come to pick up. diesels. which consists of seven terminals in total. This is also more efficient personnel deployment. The company Note *A European agreement concerning the International Carriage of has also reduced its labour bill. loading transports and distributes petroleum products in Spain. truck and fuels and biofuels – and transporting and storing these rail tank car unloading. The company currently uses ABB’s terminal Case study one management system and System 800xA. making each unit of product more distance and interact with the driver. as of end March 2017. OMV Petrom has experienced terminals entirely unmanned using ABB’s terminal significant reductions in loading time and.5 million tpy and operates an 860 MW high efficiency power plant. pipeline and barge/ship distribution reductions in loading time through automation processes at the company’s Petrobrazi refinery and the (source: OMV Petrom). be completed in less than half the time. ABB has been assisting OMV Petrom with the large scale modernisation of its storage and distribution infrastructure. CLH has operations. The group has a refining capacity of 4.

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Winter 2017 56 .

research by management consultancy. as those numbers are expected to increase to 25% by 2020. D igital technology is gaining a strong foothold in the energy industry. an upsurge in collaboration. Digital technology is bringing unprecedented amounts of change with it. Digital transformation in the energy industry could unlock as much as US$1. and resulting in new business models. including new technologies and solutions. Those benefits can be far-reaching. as more companies embrace the benefits of automation in measurement solutions and other capabilities. its customers and society. explains how.1 The global digital economy accounted for 22% of the world’s economy in 2015 and it is rapidly growing. more data. boosting agility and strategic decision making. Accenture.Digital automation is advancing the tanks and terminals sector. ranging from saving clients time and money. according to some estimates. 80% of respondents intend to spend the same amount. A digital industry Accenture’s survey found that despite the current industry downturn. shows that digital technology is now dominating every sector of the economy. TechnipFMC. new alliances and new startups. including the storage tank sector. to boosting efficiency and safety. up from 15% in 2005.6 trillion of value for the industry. more effective decisions. 5 57 Winter 2017 . Buzz Hetrick. reducing costs and providing more useful analytics to enable companies to make faster. New digital technologies combined with data-driven insights can transform operations. if not significantly more. USA. Digital technology can be a vital tool in improving productivity. In fact. on digital technology in the next three to five years.

PLCs are digital might invest in a visual scheduling system with computers used for automation of processes in industrial sophisticated routing capabilities. Company officials wanted to companies risk investing billions of dollars in digital expand and automate an asphalt terminal with two tanks technologies while capturing few benefits. the Recognising the cost-saving benefits of a more robust data winds up stranded. forms. company officials were looking to replace an existing biofuel and ethanol loading skid at their manual loading rack with third-party preset controls. operations teams. A firm and robust commitment to digital automation Case study two: expansion and will result in reduced costs. Winter 2017 58 . As the company increased emphasis on efficiency. digital automation structure. The generating large amounts of data has no discernible value if expansion included adding a larger storage tank and a satellite uplink is too slow to transfer the data to automating the manual loading and offloading racks.2 For instance. Soymet placed its order for a total digital automation solution. it is considering installing additional digital drive a new wave of demand for digital automation systems at its other terminals. can transform operations and significantly improve their scalability and functionality of the digital system and the bottom line. A user-defined dashboard to help analyse flow rate ethanol loading skid information from the Fuel-FACS+ terminal automation system. At the Soymet biofuels terminal in Rome. US. Citing budget constraints. reliability and safety will expands. as well as capabilities of their teams. without an integrated. software. For the automation duties. energy Oconomowoc. including rack automation. search and security functions. FUEL-FACS+ digital terminal automation control system. energy companies are the AccuLoad® electronic preset control system and the mostly unprepared to take full advantage of the potential FUEL-FACS+ terminal automation system. Most will need to invest in the with the tank gauging graphics and functionality. reports. Initially. tank gauging. Its initial recommendations included an AccuLoad® electronic preset control system. and a manual loading rack with no preset controls. tank example. A user-defined dashboard showing the Following a walk-through of the application. Forbes said. It was impressed in digital technologies. But there are pitfalls. Sensing disappointment from Soymet regarding its lack of an automated system. connect it to line management’s scheduling systems. Case study one: biofuel and Figure 1. However. Wisconsin. higher levels of productivity automation of asphalt terminal and increased performance for companies throughout the Another digital technology solution was provided by energy industry. services and components. Wolf Paving was going to have a Valuable information can also become lost if programmable logic controller (PLC) integrator perform companies neglect to connect information flows. staff. Soymet rejected all but the preset control system. The original project scope was to install a new loading skid. Georgia. a company in the tanks and terminals sector gauging. average wait and load times for terminal truck drivers. Many in the industry anticipate that an potential for reducing its operating costs. and decide whether to lead the industry as an innovator or act as a follower by quickly implementing tested technologies and processes. displays. pump start and valve control. requiring a combination of a demonstration of a truck loading operation shown from recruiting fresh talent and teaching new skills to current both the driver’s view and the inside operator’s view. Companies that successfully employ digital automation The company was impressed with the flexibility. It is also important for companies to monitor key industry and technology trends. TechnipFMC’s Measurement Solutions business offered equipment recommendations to help automate the loading skid. According to a recent TechnipFMC at the Wolf Paving Asphalt Terminal in Forbes article. the company agreed to install As in many other industries. TechnipFMC recommended its. multiyear plan. US. Smith Meter® positive displacement meter and digital control valves. Figure 2. if it fails to settings. TechnipFMC recently completed two projects that involved providing automated measurement solutions to clients in the tanks and terminals sector.

CELEB RATING 20 YEA RS NEW CONSTRUCTION & REPAIRS . We construct the following: y External Floating Roof Tanks y ASME Pressure Vessels y Internal Floating Roof Tanks y Double Bottom Tanks y Double Deck Floating Roof Tanks y Low Temperature Tanks y Cable Suspended Internal Floating Roof Tanks y Clarifiers y Aluminium Floating Roof Tanks y Open Top Tanks y Umbrella & Dished Dome Roof Tanks y Supported Cone Roof Tanks y Geodesic Dome Roof Tanks y Self-supported Cone Roof Tanks y MESA Bottom Tanks y Spheres CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS 42422 Hwy. We engineer. is recognized as a national leader for the construction of field-erected tank projects. All work is performed in accordance with American Petroleum Institute 650. fabricate and erect tanks any size from small shop built tanks to field-erected tanks in excess of 315’ diameter. painting. 653. 620 and AWWA and ASME . insulation and associated piping. 30. Gonzales. LA 70737 (225) 644-8747 | Smith-Tank. 653. 620 & ASME PRESSURE VESSELS Smith Tank & Steel. alloys.API 650. Inc. design. stainless steel. Materials used include carbon steel. we can handle the project from tank foundations. If a turnkey project interests you. No job is too small or large for our experienced team. aluminum and other exotics. tank erection.

One way to do this is through collaboration with partners. x ůĂƐƐϭ͕ŝǀϭZĞƋƵŝƌĞŵĞŶƚƐ 2. safer and more reliable delivery of products and services. companies. Conclusions These two projects represent just a small segment of what energy companies are accomplishing as part of an industry embracing digital transformation. Offshore Energy Today. it will realise an ever-increasing array of benefits. (24 June 2016). the industry must ensure that it has the personnel to fully exploit the advancements. 'How Digital Technology Will Change Oil and Gas Companies'. engineering. The industry will continue to become more reliant on digital systems and automation to promote a faster. Accenture Technology Vision 2016. service and support using the latest technologies.3 As the industry moves forward and discovers new and more creative ways to adapt digital automations. industry leaders must recognise that culture changes within companies are needed to realise digital technology’s full potential. 'People First: The Primacy of People in a Digital Age'. The digital transformation era is ushering in a new age of productivity and profits that x Over 7. The comprehensive digital solution successfully met the company’s expansion and automation needs by presenting a single-source approach to supply. ZZZ/(&JOREDOFRP250 LQIR#OHFJOREDOFRP . As that reliance grows. With digital tools and real time analytics driving automation. To turn data into value. A portable graphic interface receives data from LCC for observation and control of a tank monitoring system. A culture of sharing processes clearly has its benefits and will help advance digital innovations and expansion. x ĞƐŝŐŶĞĚĨŽƌ. 'Culture change key to digital's success in the oil and gas industry'.500 RGAs in service worldwide can be shared by all. including greater efficiencies impacting operations and saving more time and money. 3. As new digital solutions are deployed. (9 March 2017). companies need to figure out Ρ how best to get people to interact with digital automation. Figure 3. A high level of collaboration within the energy industry will help ensure that personnel have the expertise and forward-looking mindset to effectively employ digital advancements.Ї^ĂŶĚDĂƌŝŶĞŶǀŝƌŽŶŵĞŶƚƐ References x DĞĞƚƐW/ϱϰϱ͕E&WϳϴϬ͕dyĞƌƚ 1. clients and other stakeholders are coming out on the winning side. Forbes.

application of pilot-operated devices are available (for P instance API-520)1. Operators deciding to install a pilot-operated pressure relief valve tend to use stability to explain their Pilot-operated valve technology preference for this class of devices over spring-loaded Pilot-operated relief valves are commonly installed on devices. Dr Moncalvo Davide valve requires the machining of capillary ducts and small annular lateral regions. how to overcome pilot valve instability Although good engineering practice on the correct on cryogenic storage tanks.Dr Davies Michael. discuss particulate. also present dampeners as an effective solution to pilot-operated safety valves. in order to avoid blockages. Gaseous flow through and Thorsten Schaper. soot and droplet-free. The major drawback of pilot-operated relief top of cryogenic storage tanks as a last line of defence. It will stable as their high-pressure counterparts. Braunschweiger pilot-operated relief valves should ideally be Flammenfilter GmbH. devices is price. Germany. this article will describe the working ilot-operated pressure relief valves installed on principle of pilot-operated valves and analyse several cryogenic storage tanks are expected to be as types of instability associated with poor design. avoid instability in plant operations. which 6 61 Winter 2017 . during operation. since the manufacture of the pilot Figure 1 shows a pilot-operated relief device.

valves. causing the valve to open. In API-520. relief flow does not suffice to maintain the open valve and it tends to reclose. However. the advantages and limitations of product due to scenarios such as the loosening of a pilot-operated safety valves are described in detail. in cryogenic applications. magnitude of their natural frequency. failing to consider inlet losses can lead to valve instability. the signals would be inconstant but not zero. pressure in the pilot-operated valve with sensing line. without touching When the pressure in the tank exceeds the set pressure the seat. where chatter. is typically a smaller scale spring loaded device A second level of instability is so-called ‘fluttering’. pilot-operated valves may be located far Figure 1. especially if spring loaded. protected item increases again until the valve reopens. In the worst case scenario of a fluttering valve.034 barg. In a pilot-operated valve that is subjected to cycling. the moving parts oscillate the different membranes in understanding the opening abnormally rapidly with a frequency of the order of and reclosing of the pilot-operated device is crucial. This is typically shown when the required flow rate is a fraction of the capacity of the fully-opened device. In reality. where the moving parts hit the seat. The pilot of one cycle per second. Axial cut of a low pressure membrane If the disc occasionally recloses. though non-metallic parts such as gaskets. Below is a detailed analysis of relief valve instability. Safety and relief valve instability and solutions A safety and a relief valve is always subject to some vibration of its moving parts due to flow induced fluctuations in the pressure level upstream and downstream. flange. The primary concern for chattering is loss of API-520 applies. they were supposed to sit. it seems that pilot-operated safety relief valves are expected to be stable. The role of In a fluttering valve. Keeping in mind that LNG storage tanks can have quite long inlet piping. the pop action pilot-operated relief valve in Figure 1 is installed on a cryogenic plant with some outlet piping that included a flame arrester on the discharge side when it was instead planned to be sized for atmospheric release through a short discharge pipe. the pilot opens and the vapours flowing eventuality of a non-reclosing valve when the moving out of the dome volume above the membrane do not parts get stuck are common failures for fluttering exert enough pressure to keep the piston on the seat. In other cases. From a general analysis. and bellows Pilot-operated safety and relief valves find wide usage rupture. the valve is said to For tank pressures above 15 psig or 1. seat damage or adhesive wear. safety and relief valve cycling has a low frequency of the order of magnitude consists of a main valve and an external pilot. which may break or deform at low temperatures. connected with the main valve (Figure 2). A pilot-operated pressure relief device from the cryogenic tank that they protect and where mounted on a cryogenic tank. spring loaded safety and relief Winter 2017 62 . along with suggestions on how to minimise the risks involved during start-up and operation. the device begins to open. As for all oscillatory phenomena. Figure 2. neglecting in-line pressure losses may have a dramatic effect on tank safety when inlet pressure losses are neglected or not determined correctly. may deserve proper specification with reference to the application. Given that the relieving pressure of the valve is closely adjusted with the tank design pressure. The least dangerous level of instability is the so-called ‘cycling’. the moving parts fluctuate between partially opened positions: if pressure transmitters or mass flow rate sensors are installed. When the pressure in the protected item reaches the set pressure of the valve. Rapid wear of the moving parts and the of the valve.

10. Even when a customer is convinced about the validity Burgess and Powers concluded on the base of an of a safety review. 'European Program on Evaluation of Safety Valve Instability'.O. increasing blow down may be an be observed. British is excessive oversizing of the device.7 behavior of direct spring loaded pressure relief valves in gas service'. J. J. and WOOD. S. and others. the 3% pressure loss criterion may be an oversimplified view of the complex valve behaviour References 1. Washington. DAVIES. if the irreversible flow rate generated by roll over is conservatively pressure loss exceeds the 3% threshold. Hydrocarbon Processing. DENECKE. 'Offshore hydrocarbon release statistics and analysis'. M. 63 Winter 2017 . rather than due to inlet configurations with larger pressure losses it could not pressure losses. maintain the valve permanently open. API-520 tank increases. vibration in high capacity pressure reducing systems'.10 For systems that experience with pressure losses less than 3%. reasons. Chemical Engineering Transactions.5 turning highly dangerous chattering into more criticised that chatter was observed at installations innocuous cycling. R.10 as necessary and sufficient to avoid valve instability has been analysed and criticised. (1986). which means rate. Only the gases in the upper requires that the irreversible pressure loss between stratification can escape in the vapour space. CHAMPNEYS. KASTOR. J. (2014). MAK. C. DANNENMAIER. M. D. DuPont Eng Dept Rep of solving such issues during start-up. roll over can be easily avoided by storing connecting the sensing line direct to the pressurised LNG of different compositions in different tanks. have long inlet piping. (2016).org. 9. 'Acoustically induced piping starts to chatter due to high inlet pressure losses. 8. SMITH. Munich: TÜV Süd.. due to different sources of Acknowledgement This article has been published with the authorisation of the origin and the lighter (molar weight) fractions do not International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR). BURGESS. which causes the rolling to continue. 'Lessons learned solving A typical scenario for an extremely oversized device pilot valve instability issues on LNG storage tanks'. 'Dynamic North Sea. for instance.. Paul insertion of a dampening system on the spindle and McNeely4 concluded that the 3% criterion is not smoothens the oscillations of the moving parts. J. 625 – 630. J. always conservative. is given by rollover in a stratified tank... at least 20% of the hydrocarbon releases in the 4.. In its research and experience 5. EN-1473. (2014). (2011). UK. (2003). 'EN 1473: Installation and equipment for liquified natural oversize of the relief devices is desired for safety gas . Vapours from more volatile Safety valve instability is a result of the wave components in heavier LNG fractions remain entrapped dynamics in the pipeline both upstream and between the stratified layers and the pressure in the downstream of the valve. K.. For up.3 On the other hand. API-520. VALAPPIL. there is the estimated in EN-1473 to be 100 times the pump-in flow possibility of a remote pressure sensing. and POWERS... A. According to this standard. The conference proceedings from the 14 th Cryogenics 2017 IIR International mix with the heavier ones. 'Sizing. MOKHATAB. LNG storage tanks can pp. C. In a stratified LNG tank there are fractions of different LNG compositions. an additional stability level in the investigation of a sample refinery that some safety pilot-operated valve encounters broader acceptance relief valves may operate stable even if the 3% rule is among users. Smith. D. (2016). Flachbodentanktagung München. 'A dynamic stability model for predicting chatter in safety relief valve installations'. (2016). during start-up.valves and pop action pilot valves are more likely to their density sinks below that of the lighter fractions experience chatter than modulating pilot-operated. For the inlet pipe. V. US. T. Safety Executive (HSE) refers to AIV as the source for pp. the heavier fractions warm up until website at www. 70 – 81. PAUL.. no clear direction Conclusion can be found to improve it. Hös. selection and installation of pressure-relieving and that high frequency acoustically induced devices'.. Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries.iifiir. SCHMIDT. Another cause for chatter in pilot-operated valves 7. and piping damage. 'Handbook mass flow rate does not suffice to reach full lift and of Liquified Natural Gas'. London.2 For instance.9 chattering in a pop action pilot-operated pressure If an LNG tank’s relief system has been designed for relief valve and will permit a modulating the roll over case and the pilot valves that will handle pilot-operated pressure relief valve to achieve full lift roll over are only exposed to very low relief rates at the required overpressure.Design of onshore installations'.8 Indeed. including Kastor.. and relieving pressures and the downstream pipeline at a ODENWALD. Several authors seem to convene that effective measure to solve the problem. CARUCCI.. (2013). 'Relief device inlet piping: Beyond the 3 percent rule'. remote sensing may promoting the mixing and monitoring of pressure and help to eliminate or minimise uncontrolled valve temperature changes in the tank. Davies and Heidermann showed that the violated. recommends to increase the blow down if the valves 6. 59 – 66. Oxford: Elsevier. a dampening system installed inside of While the concept of the 3% in-line pressure drop the valve can prevent instability of the relief valve. Brussels. HÖS. in a largely oversized device the released Belgium.. The the protected equipment and the valve should not lighter fractions are now at the tank bottom and warm exceed 3% of the set pressure of the valve. far lower pressure level lead to safety valve instability pp.6 A study of the British Health and 3. The vapour pilot-operated pressure relief valves. and HEIDERMANN. K. and MUELLER. and they roll over them. ASME82-VA/ PVP-8. PROTEGO® Accession Nr 17131. item. and MCNEELY. T. vibrations (AIV) between the safety valve at high 2. When the tank base is not Conference are available in the Fridoc database on the IIR correctly insulated. Although a slight Health and Safety Executive (HSE). (1982). while on other instability due to design error. Champneys. As mentioned previously..

Winter 2017 64 .

1 According to the Financial Times. Malta. and Pakistan. Trelleborg Oil and Marine. Supplies of LNG. according to recent research published in the Financial Times. As new market dynamics necessitate the splitting of LNG into smaller packages. energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie says gas now outweighs oil by a factor of two to one among pre-development resources awaiting investment decisions. it is gradually diversifying.1 As the market grows. The Middle East and North Africa regions are also becoming strong importers of LNG. Several new LNG importers. with 55 possible ship completions. the current live LNG fleet includes 26 floating storage regasification units (FSRUs) and 33 small scale ships of 30 000 m³ or smaller. are on course to increase by 50% between 2014 and 2021 – overtaking coal by 2030. THINKING O U T S I D E T his year is likely to go down as a critical year in the evolution of the global LNG market. evolving from being export-dominated LNG markets. This year is due to be the busiest year on record in terms of growth of the LNG carrying fleet and it is on course to set a record for LNG carrier deliveries. Mega projects such as Predule FLNG. As the fleet grows. France. 6 65 Winter 2017 . however. Jordan. adding to continued growing demand from traditional hubs such as China and India. important new dynamics are developing that will drastically reshape how LNG is transported and transferred. have also emerged in the last two years. including Poland. Wheatstone LNG and Gorgon LNG underline continued impressive demand growth for LNG across the globe.Vincent Lagarrigue. This has a profound knock-on effect for those transporting and storing LNG. calls for a rethink of transfer solutions to suit the rapidly expanding LNG market.

addition. Because an integral part of LNG activities. They offer more flexibility for storage transfer solutions require specialised cryogenic hosing to and transfer outside of increasingly congested ports. composite floating cryogenic hoses form the and currents in the open seas. Trelleborg’s technology offers a safe and robust means Composite. and the duration of the transfer. The cruise sector is power generation. with most tests A certain degree of ‘unlearning’ is required in developing taking place in cryogenic conditions at -196°C. the highest levels of safety these. durable and easily adaptable to multiple must still be maintained amid the effects of winds. Similarly. several full-scale hose prototypes were successfully tested Rethinking LNG transfer in both static and dynamic conditions. Flexible. Collectively. is gradually The outer protective hose draws on flexible rubber-bonded being replaced with a much more agile and scalable model. The boil-off by as much as 60%. transfers in a broader range of locations. ship-to-shore gas ship-to-shore transfer can deliver crucial breakthroughs in transfer must now take place in environments where this cost-effectiveness that increase feasibility for power type of infrastructure would be prohibitively expensive. The number and arrangement of configuration. Trelleborg’s Cryoline range – is that they can reduce most of which utilise FLNG platforms for storage. the duration of the transfer. and short-sea particularly in areas where jetty-based transfer would be cargo. During the development of Cryoline technology. Risk is helices – one internal and one external. and as such. waves. and safely transfer LNG to regasification plants. However. of multiple. minimise voyage time. energy to locations where access to power has. or use bridging arms infrastructure. been far from guaranteed. storage and transference concerns. many major ports are investing heavily in The flexibility and high flow rates achievable by cryogenic LNG transfer infrastructure to maintain their leading status. hose technology. bases of a range of new options for transfer. a simple concrete platform onshore multiple sectors to advance fresh thinking around combined with hose transfer solutions offers an alternative innovative means to transfer LNG. configurations. the film reduced the further apart the vessels are. Transfer to and from these facilities considerable research has gone into the development of presents a range of challenges. that it can negate the need for large-scale fixed onshore These trends place an urgent demand on suppliers in infrastructures. and a crucial cog in the LNG must be transported at a temperature of -163°C. such as ferries. using cryogenic floating hoses for for ship-to-ship transfers. terminal. generation and terminal projects – particularly those in either due to harsh conditions or because waters are too remote. infrastructure development offered by the relatively quick Another benefit of these insulated hoses – such as deployment capacity of small and mini-scale projects. benefit from the flexibility in power be encountered. specialised sectors. which is known for its high resistance to Using floating assets. tugs. Essentially. operability whilst maintaining the highest safety standards. and marine bunkering projects rapidly adopting LNG as a bunker fuel. transfer methods that suit the new range of challenging demonstrating their ability to withstand fatigue resistance transfer scenarios. Transfer – ship-to-shore In addition. many fatigue and its ability to withstand harsh environmental countries are now able to realise the distribution of reliable conditions. Traditional thinking has been that LNG in hazardous conditions. LNG LNG supply chain. side-by-side transfer These hoses also expand options for offshore ship-to-ship using bridging arms faces limitations in harsh conditions. vessels would moor at the dockside and use a jetty By cutting down on the need for expensive platform for ship-to-shore transfers. with the mechanical strength of the hose coming from the By using floating cryogenic hoses in tandem woven fabric layers. off-grid areas where these facilities are essential deep or shallow to allow a jetty to be constructed. as opposed to side-by-side. This reflects the need for LNG supplies to reach a multiple polymeric film and woven fabric layers is specific broader range of locations and facilities – moving away to the hose size and application. ‘hose-in-hose’ LNG hoses typically consist of safely loading and unloading LNG in these conditions. polymeric film and woven fabric Two factors are essential here: the distance between the layers encapsulated between two stainless steel wire vessels involved. long-term supply contracts (up to 25 years). and the shorter layers provide a fluid-tight barrier to the conveyed product. Floating receiving Major breakthroughs have come from rethinking how the and distribution terminals and coastal gas carriers are now hoses themselves function in the transfer process. A major advantage of hose-in-hose technology is assets across the supply chain. such as FSRUs and FLNG vessels. until now. vessels can be Winter 2017 66 . In for the development of electrical and transport grids. these factors have seen the continuing unfeasible because of harsh conditions or environmental development of transportation. many with conveyed product and the operating temperatures likely to frontier locations. equating to a saving of traditional model of vast. as well as other that are located away from existing infrastructure. finding solutions that in locations where heavier fixed onshore infrastructure strike the balance between new means to improve costs would be prohibitive. unbonded. offshore. The polymeric film and from solely being the domain of large terminals and fabric materials are selected to be compatible with the import/export hubs. hose technology increase the economic feasibility of both for LNG bunkering and trading. many existing terminals set up for larger carriers may not be equipped to handle transfer to and from Transfer – ship-to-ship smaller vessels. Developing countries. land-built terminals and 10 billion Btu of energy over the course of 500 transfers.

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Financial Times. . a floating barge or options that can keep pace – allowing safe and reliable gas transfer unit can be readily adapted for future and transfer to succeed in even the most challenging alternative deployment in the event of local changes or a environments. and the vessels from companies like Chiyoda. risk of damage to the hose during handling. floating out to meet them Almost every week. Individual components can be up or downscaled depending on requirements. WARD. One area of particular interest is the itself. Collaborations with partners such as Houlder. https://www. In addition. or function as a bunkering solution opportunities. Phone: 0049 6108 – 60999 • Storage tanks for ‘white’ products (semi-finished and finished products) will not suffer from Fax: 0049 6108 – 78455 rainwater contamination. Otto-Hahn-Str. vessel types. mooring configurations. E-Mail: info@imhof-tanktechnik. It could accommodate small LNG carriers at larger Floating transfer terminals terminals. future. minimising impact on significantly. Moreover. 7Seas and Atlantic. Reference 1. All of this reflects the fact can be built. integration with a variety of LNG carrier safety of the vessels and crew. alternative applications. and the flexibility to support Similarly. (AG&P) are currently underway. overall timescale from contract award to first gas. moored as much as 300 – 500 m away from a storage unit. development of floating transfer terminals or barges. supply LNG to remote power generation plants The cryogenic hose opens up a range of new transfer or distribution plants. in parallel that LNG is a uniquely flexible fuel that will have an with relatively light civil engineering activity. the heavy-duty hose design reduces the cost-effectively and towed as a single unit to site with 11e7-bdfa-eda243196c2c?mhq5j=e7 For each application the right Floating Roof Seal ➤ From primary to multiseal. the increased separation storms or hurricanes.-Büro Imhof GmbH vapour recovery systems. Plant Safety and Economy. This kind of system can be used in many configurations. 'Big Oil bets on a dash for gas'. ➤ for ‘white’ storage products or crude oil. and even the development of FLNG power plants Pacific Co. A floating solution also allowing for ship-to-ship transfer in deeper waters in even allows for refuge to be sought in safe harbour during the most challenging conditions. 12 • You will avoid additional emissions. without the application of vapour balancing and Ing. A complete LNG barge system can be built (7 September 2017).de • Storage tanks for crude oil will not get soiled by parafin wax deposits.. desire to move location entirely. reducing the important part to play in the world’s future energy mix. with floating roof seals supplied by IMHOF you always solve your sealing problems in the best possible way. deep maintenance to be undertaken distance mitigating the risk of collision and ensuring the at a shipyard. rather than requiring the vessel to moor alongside a are emerging – from new vessels. new facility. Gulf and Germany. 63165 Mühlheim/M.ft. Connect LNG. outfitted and commissioned off-site. connected to the shore using Cryoline hoses. These can Conclusion easily connect with a vessel. the barge is the length of the transfer operation can be reduced only used when transfer is underway. limited integration requirements.Germany Advanced Floating Roof Sealing Technologies to the Benefit of your Environment. ➤ for external or internal floating roofs. . initiatives for LNG shipping from governments such as Wärtsilä. Homepage: www.imhof-tanktechnik. by achieving a flowrate of up to 10 000 m3/ • Your emissions are drastically reduced. utility costs and operational risks of plant. Those who transport and handle this fuel must create the As a self-contained mobile unit. A. it seems that new milestones for LNG offshore.

GAC UK. Oil companies that are keen to focus on their core business have signed contracts. Dramatic changes in the sector mean that oil companies can no longer own every link in the hydrocarbon production chain – from upstream exploration and extraction equipment.Stuart Buchanan. Conversion to storage facilities (or away from refining altogether) has become commonplace. explores how shifting market dynamics are creating opportunities in the tanks and terminals market. T he past 20 years have been a real rollercoaster ride for the oil and gas market. to downstream terminals and storage facilities. In response to market pressures. there has been a rush of outsourcing over the last few years. The changing market has also driven a shift in priorities for refineries themselves. through midstream pipelines and transportation infrastructure. sold equipment and even off-handed terminals to companies that are willing to offer these services. particularly for North Sea 6 69 Winter 2017 .

the specific needs of terminals and storage facilities Cargo sampling is particularly important in a market well into the foreseeable future. It has importance of cargo sampling in the wider downstream also formed a wide-ranging partnership with a major hydrocarbon industry. fuel costs and response times were reduced. and met the strict new legislation laid out by the UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Authority (MCA). state-of-the-art fleet that focused on traditional line handling whilst remaining manoueverable. personnel was increased to accommodate the new rota. The gas is piped to the St Fergus inland site direct from the North Sea. The efforts at Braefoot Bay demonstrate how Such upheaval has created a market that is ripe for a positive attitude to quality can foster long-term hungry new players to make their mark. a dedicated team of cargo is unchanged between loading and unloading are qualified personnel and fast. and then converted into ethylene. Customers now that is keen to avoid disputes over ‘off specification’ demand more for less. complacency and dissatisfaction at the service quality With a key focus placed on hydrocarbon transfer. With a new fleet. terminal staff are required to walk lines to check for Instead. Winter 2017 70 . the onus must be on the supplier to leaks and take samples of cargoes to ensure that develop a bespoke service package that is tailored to deliveries are strictly to specification. thus improving efficiencies at the Race to the bottom terminal. Case study one Located between St David’s and Aberdour on the Firth of Forth in Scotland. GAC made a commitment to providing Shell with a modern. seven days a week. while still delivering value for money. broken down to form ethane. business arrangements and improve operational and caution must be exercised to maintain standards and crew welfare standards. GAC provides key shore-side 10 years or more. it is a key area of focus for some petroleum refiner to provide key shore-side services. GAC invested considerable time and expertise into researching the procurement of versatile. butane and condensate. Despite the fact The GAC Group recently signed a deal with Shell to that there is still limited understanding of the manage the Braefoot Bay terminal in Scotland. A rotational working structure was operations at Braefoot Bay. 15 personnel who were already stationed at the terminal became GAC Figure 2. introduced to improve the work-life balance for staff. A vessel was quickly procured from Australia and two more were ordered from a UK-based boat builder. efficient and vital in avoiding such potentially costly claims for both cost-effective support the norm. modern vessels that went beyond the extensive demands of the terminal. GAC UK’s Wave Spirit performing mooring employees. procurement of new vessels with welfare facilities to keep morale high. deepwater berths 24 hr/d. Particular attention was paid to crew welfare and the Figure 1. avoid a ‘race to the bottom’ in terms of pricing. propane. Loading takes place over two exposed. terminal operators. Choosing a cheaper supplier in year services including personnel (and their training) at a one could cause unnecessary stress in year five. By taking on the role of mooring service provider at the Braefoot Bay terminal. The Braefoot Bay terminal. Samples showing that the condition of the round-the-clock coverage. In line with Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) [TUPE] regulations. when range of storage and terminal locations across the UK. levels come to the forefront. the Braefoot Bay tanker terminal is a key export base for LPG and condensate. However. This trend is becoming increasingly retraining and certification through both external widespread as the industry seeks ways to cut costs partners and its own corporate academy. safe and well-equipped. Case study two This ‘race’ puts additional pressure on operators As part of a recently signed deal with a major when considering long-term contracts that can run for petroleum refiner. at the cost of quality service. with expectations of cargoes. all year round. and the company committed to a programme of terminals. terminal operators and vessel owners.

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A calm hand on the rudder. providing peace of mind in uncertain times. particularly on the periphery of oilfields where because this approach provides a cost advantage in prospects are continually being reshaped by terms of logistics. forms part of the – and industry players have a part to play in ensuring firm foundation on which the industry can stand as it that this resilience continues. Service suppliers who gain the trust markets has emerged as a defining factor to consider in of producers and operators by consistently delivering order to cut costs and deliver value in a period of quality and added value can serve as important stabilising dramatic industry change. which is usually the role of cargo surveyors. with different procedures required for each site. though. 60 | Lightning Eliminators 41 | Tank Connection IFC | Matrix Applied Technologies 45 | Trinity Consultants 23 | Matrix Service Company 38 | United Riverhead Terminal Inc. Ensuring safety and taking an extra step in its service offering and proving compliance with all relevant guidelines and regulations both its expertise and rigorous approach to compliance. Accurate cargo sampling was an integral part of the One way of mitigating further consolidation within tendering process for the refiner at a range of its the UK’s remaining oil and gas storage terminals is terminals. These range from the Excellence paying dividends creation of risk assessments and new operating policies All of this comes at a time when the UK’s downstream through to more wide-ranging training programmes. tackles the challenges to come. AD INDEX Page Number | Advertiser 49 | MESA 53 | ADROC Tech Ltd 04 | Midwest Steel Co. 37 | ATEC Steel LLC 33 | NACE International 27 | Brodie International 55 | Oreco IBC | Gauging Systems Inc. By and safe working practices. compliance product deliveries. Inc. 59 | Smith Tank & Steel Inc. In the company eliminated delays due to non-compliant addition to industry-wide requirements. quality measures have allowed the industry to remain resilient and compliance over long periods. streamlined. 67 & 71 | Palladian Publications OBC | Hexagon PPM 31 | Pittsburgh Corning 68 | IMHOF Tank-Technik 28 | Port of Amsterdam 15 | InterOcean Systems LLC OFC & 07 | Quest Integrity 02 | John Zink Hamworthy 11 | Rosen 09 | Kanon Loading Equipment B. changes in the oil and gas storage market are driven by geography rather than wider market Conclusion pressures. These providing assurances of consistent timeliness. Companies are now keen to have a stronger The tanks and terminals market remains in constant focus on specific geographic areas such as Braefoot Bay. allows for easier management of macro-economic forces. flux. varies from terminal to terminal. Winter 2017 72 . and can reduce capital expenditure. GAC was the first ship agent to perform this through a demonstrable adherence to highly efficient service. Like the oil and gas industry more generally.V. infrastructure is being constantly reshaped and Long-term contracts. will also be key to combatting the change that is occuring conversion and rationalisation in the oil and gas storage within the industry. supply chains. Often. factors. is paramount in the sensitive oil and gas sector. as in the case of Braefoot Bay.

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