Tank Storage Magazine v04 i05


Volume: 4
Issue: 5
Date Published: November 1, 2008



Delta Petrol boosts Ceyhan capacity

As Turkey gains importance in the global energy and oil trade, the Ceyhan region is becoming key for storage operators, especially Delta Petrol, currently building the Mediterranean's largest independent terminal Formed in the 1980s, Delta Petrol is the leading independent oil products storage and logistics company in the region. Its customers are international oil majors, international oil trading companies and some regional companies. It engages in long term relationships with its customers and has structured its services to minimise the effects of the volatile spot market conditions. The group has tank storage infrastructure in Ceyhan, Turkey, as well as in Poti, Georgia, (over 750,000m3), and is planning an additional 450,000m3 in the next five years. Earlier in 2008 Delta completed a large expansion project in Ceyhan from 300,000m3 to 625,000m3. To strengthen the demand for long haul voyages and international oil trade hub vision, Delta will build a full jetty structure at Ceyhan to accommodate vessels up to 165,000dwt, which is targeted to be completed by end 2009 or the beginning of 2010. Delta has secured the investment for the project, which amounts to an estimated $75 million (€51 million), through a division of World Bank, International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the remaining amount through equity funds to accomplish its growth plan strategy to make Ceyhan a strong and developed international oil hub. To read this article in full you will need to subscribe to Tank Storage Magazine or buy the back-issue. Click here for further details

Pipeline politics

The Caspian and Black Seas, and the Caucasus that links them, have been fraught with tension for years. The fresh conflict in the region this year is about more than energy, but the violence has again brought the risks of investment to the fore. Home to many a crucial pipeline, some realised and some not as yet, the Caspian and Black Sea regions play a transit and transhipment role as well as a storage one. Overall, oil and refined products are generally moved from the north and east of the region, from countries such as Russia, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, to the south and west of the region via Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, en route to markets in western Europe. Generally, for Caspian production to reach western European markets, it must first transit the Caucasus region of southern Russia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, by pipeline or rail, before reaching key ports on the Black Sea. Product or crude tankers must then pass through the congested Turkish Straits before reaching the open Mediterranean Sea and routes to western and northern Europe and beyond. The politically complicated and unstable Caucasus cannot be avoided and the recent conflict in Georgia, which saw some key ports and terminals bombed, has underlined the area's vulnerability. At the same time, state ownership is still rife in some of the region's nations, and it is difficult for independents to penetrate. To read this article in full you will need to subscribe to Tank Storage Magazine or buy the back-issue. Click here for further details

StocExpo enters the energy corridor

The industry leading show is perfectly timed to allow terminal operators to get together and discuss how the current conflict is affecting the local storage industry This November StocExpo will be tackling the challenging region of Turkey and the surrounding areas with its latest event, StocExpo Turkey & the Black & Caspian Seas 2008. The show will be held on 11-12 November at the WOW Convention Centre in Istanbul and will be both a conference exploring relevant issues in the local terminal market, and an exhibition giving companies the opportunity to target key industry players. Over 300 attendees are expected. Turkey's position as a strategic and regional oil and petrochemical transportation hub and source between central Asia, the Middle East & Europe makes Istanbul the ideal location to hold such an event. The conference will look ahead at the future plans for this rapidly evolving sector. HE Hilmi Guler, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, will open the conference, while senior industry experts from companies such as Delta Petroleum, Poliport, Attila Dogan, BP Turkey, Petrol Ofisi, IFC, World Bank Group, Shell, Turcas Petrol, the Turkish Chemical Manufacturers Association and the Buncefield Major Incident Independent Investigation Board are just some of those who will be sharing their ideas, plans and suggestions on how to achieve commercial and operational excellence. Germany-based safety and equipment supplier Protego will also be holding a pre-conference workshop on 10 November to provide a detailed technical forum to look at some of the more complex issues involved in managing and operating. To read this article in full you will need to subscribe to Tank Storage Magazine or buy the back-issue. Click here for further details

Mechanised welding in focus

Mechanised welding offers significant advantages for aboveground tank fabrication, in terms of speed and accuracy, compared with traditional manual welding techniques Tank construction companies favour two different approaches: building from the bottom up in stages, or the hydraulic jack method, which involves building from the top course down. The traditional staged approach requires simply a ground up build procedure. The tank floor is constructed and bolted, taking into account the stability, wind loading and overpressure. Annular plates are placed around the bottom to support the first shell. The shell plates are mounted and welded together, and course after course is welded on top. Manual versus mechanical arc welding A combination of manual metal arc welding and mechanical welding is generally adopted for construction using purpose designed submerged arc welding machines. During mechanised operations, the welding machine is propelled along a horizontal track, which is attached to the circumference of the storage tank. During submerged arc welding, the operator is supported on the welding carriage to supervise the welding operation. Manual welding is used predominantly for vertical welds. There is a variety of automated welding systems on the market, with key systems supplied by companies like Lincoln Electric, Key Plant, ESAB and others. Richard Jones, consultant at the TWI World Centre for Joining Technology in the UK, advises: 'Good control of material preparation, assembly and fit up is vital. The only guarantee of successful construction, weld efficiency and accuracy is to use qualified procedures and operators.' Welding operations must conform to standards set out in API 650 for aboveground tank storage construction. Automated welding systems commonly offer welding speeds which are two to three times faster than manual welding, and are considerably more reliable in terms of reduced rework and defects. Welding systems and procedures are well established, with little sign of innovation aside from the recent introduction of Lincoln's high productivity submerged arc, and similar flux-based initiatives. Lincoln offers a continuous arc process which uses a continuous filler wire, where the arc and weld pool is protected under a bed of flux. The flux is a granular material which contains various minerals which become molten in the arc to form a slag layer so the weld pool and arc are protected from atmospheric contamination. To read this article in full you will need to subscribe to Tank Storage Magazine or buy the back-issue. Click here for further details

The right resistance

Escalating ethanol production and discoveries of deep-drawn oil are prompting better preparation and the improvement of products for lining storage tanks In the depths of the ocean new oil is being found. In November 2007, Brazil state-owned oil company Petrobras discovered an estimated 5-8 billion barrels of recoverable oil in the Tupi accumulation in the Santos basin, part of a new oil province in deeper regions than previously explored. More recently, in June 2008 Ghana made an oil discovery at Jubilee field in water depths of 1,320 metres, which could be producing 60,000 barrels a day of oil as soon as 2010. When this oil is eventually extracted storage tanks will need to be ready. As oil from deeper reservoirs can have different chemical properties, it also has more demanding storage requirements. The composition of crude oil being extracted from deeper sources is different in composition and physical make-up, such as viscosity. In some parts of the world crude oil is more viscous and therefore stored at higher temperatures in order to facilitate easier pumping. This oil, and the increasing presence of biofuels, is having an effect on the types of linings companies are offering in their product range. Looking ahead It could be a few years before the surge in thicker oil from newly discovered oilfields poses a concern for storage tank operators determining the type of lining to use, but companies need to be prepared. To read this article in full you will need to subscribe to Tank Storage Magazine or buy the back-issue. Click here for further details

Tuning into wireless

Process industries, including refineries and oil and chemical storage companies, are on the cusp of a new application of existing technology. For the daring storage company there is money to be saved and for equipment manufacturers producing this future-proof technology, there is money to be made Since the inauguration of the crystal wireless set at the turn of the 20th century, with its inherent crackle and drift away from the wavelength frequency, wireless technology has come a long way. Those pioneers, with headphones glued to their ears, could not have imagined the technology being used for process monitoring and alarm generation at a bulk liquid storage terminal. Even the terminology would have been unknown to them, as perhaps it is to many who work in the industry at present. With few exceptions today's experience of wireless instrumentation is limited to the point of negligibility; but there are facilities in the US and Europe that have installed, or are piloting, wireless monitoring systems. Among the first to take the plunge into wireless technology was Standic, an independent liquid storage and distribution company at Dordrecht, the Netherlands. 50 Koos Donkers, operations manager is quoted as saying: '...wireless solutions have helped us save approximately €30,000 and we are completely wireless. We no longer have to depend on hardwires and arduous manual tasks to get readings. The solution works entirely trouble free and we are confident we will continue to see increased cost savings.' The project started during the final quarter of 2006 with two tanks, and now more than 10 tanks have been converted, with the target being all 60 tanks on the site. The terminal, which is not manned at night, has added CCTV to the wireless network, which has enhanced security and safety monitoring. To read this article in full you will need to subscribe to Tank Storage Magazine or buy the back-issue. Click here for further details

The emergence of highly intelligent RFID

The third generation of RFID technology is upon us First generation radio frequency identification (RFID) technology - passive RFID - brought new ways to identify products and goods. It promised simultaneous identification of multiple products and a more robust auto-ID technology that projected significant savings in product supply chains. RFID was widely deployed because of key retailer mandates to tag pallets and cartons of goods in their respective supply chains. Ultimately, a need arose to do more than identify the product - product location became important as well. As a result, technologies based on triangulation, and other approaches, were developed and have found recent traction in the healthcare and retail industries. Now, users are demanding additional information about critical products and assets. Enter highly intelligent RFID. This technology identifi es a product, determines its location and, perhaps most notably, its condition. The ability to determine the condition of the product or asset is a key attribute for business managers to combat spoilage, shrinkage and other pertinent factors affecting the bottom line. US-based technology provider Hi-G-Tek has developed Pro-Active visibility and security solutions to monitor and control highvalue cargo and assets. Based on innovative technology, agility and customer-focused engineering, Pro-Active solutions combine a wireless remote sensing platform and integrated software systems to deliver intelligence at the edge. Hi-G-Tek's patented wireless sensor design uses active RFID technology and a very low power protocol to deliver reliable information to a family of robust reader products that communicate via existing customer networks. Hi-GTek's application software processes data from sensor platforms, combines that with information from multiple assets and locations and delivers the data using the customers' existing management systems. To read this article in full you will need to subscribe to Tank Storage Magazine or buy the back-issue. Click here for further details

Safety before speed

Strict regulations require regular inspections of tank bottoms and foundations for signs of corrosion, but as yet there are no standards regulating the methods used for tank jacking Misjudgement of soggy ground conditions can lead to costly mistakes, as demonstrated in a well reported incident during re-location and levelling of a tank after hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. More recently, there was an unfortunate incident in Wales, UK, when a tank tipped over during lift and was damaged beyond repair. Experts stress the need for careful calculation of weight, potential areas of stress, meticulous ground condition examination and preparation prior to lift. It is also vital to keep a close eye on weather reports to ensure that a tank lift will go smoothly and safely. Effective and efficient tank lifting requires the right tools for the job. There are a variety of options on offer, and the time taken can vary widely depending on the amount of foundation preparation required and the system used. Tank lifting systems are well established, though there are strong advocates for different approaches. Some companies favour using high-pressure hydraulic step jacks in serial connection to lift storage tanks steadily while maintaining balance. Others prefer using bags to lift storage tanks. The speedy approach Tank lifting specialist Mix Brothers Tank Services (MTS), based in Norco, Louisiana, is a strong advocate of hydraulic jacks. Although most companies agree it is better to lift a tank slowly and safely than rush it, having a secure method of reducing the time needed is to the terminal's advantage. The company's long stroke hydraulic jacks have been engineered to withstand 85mph winds, and are real world tested in 65mph winds without any stability concerns. MTS believes this is better than the other main lifting option - a tank resting on cribs - which is at risk of shifting on the blocking in winds as low as 25mph. MTS' jacks were originally adapted from long stroke jacks used to stand up the Saturn V rockets for the moon shot. Since then they have been re-designed for easier shipping, and the polypad sealing removed and replaced with traditional packing for easier maintenance. The MTS system uses prefabricated, modular safety cribbing that is installed in stackable units by machine. This approach is considered safer as the crew is less at risk of fatigue or injury by handling individual blocking. 'This also maintains the quality control of the safety cribbing,' says Dave Morrison, VP of MTS. Use of long stroke hydraulic jacks allows the company to lift tanks eight or 10 feet in one long stroke in about 15-25 minutes. To read this article in full you will need to subscribe to Tank Storage Magazine or buy the back-issue. Click here for further details

Thermal maintenance of field erected sulphur tanks

A new method of tank heating is available that can minimise the corrosive environment affecting field erected sulphur storage tanks Field erected storage tanks have been used for years to store large volumes of molten sulphur. Traditionally, the sulphur is heated using a submerged steam coil and the tank is covered with several inches of insulation. These tanks commonly experience corrosion, especially in the vapour space above the normal liquid level. The root cause of corrosion appears to be linked to the formation of solid sulphur and the presence of liquid water. Potential results of the corrosion include erosion of the tank wall, thinning of the roof plate, formation of iron sulphides, weakening of the support structure, sulphur fires and tank failure. Corrosive conditions can be eliminated or at least minimised by employing a distributed external heating system. This alternative method of heating uses a high performance steam jacketing called ControTrace. The ControTrace uniformly heats the vessel from the exterior. The advantage of this method is that metal components are maintained at temperatures above both the dew point of water and sulphur freezing point. It also allows the elimination of submerged steam coils and associated steam leaks into the sulphur. Corrosion of sulphur tanks Corrosion in the storage tanks is experienced in two common forms; from the outside in, and from the inside out. Corrosion on the exterior of the tank is linked to ambient water invading the insulation and becoming trapped between the tank surface and the insulation. If the tank wall is not hot enough to vaporise the water, the water is able to stagnate and constantly corrode the surface. Commonly this type of corrosion is experienced both on the tank roof and walls when inadequate heating is supplied, and the internal process temperature is not hot enough to maintain the tank wall temperature. To read this article in full you will need to subscribe to Tank Storage Magazine or buy the back-issue. Click here for further details

The price of inaccuracy

With oil prices high, and likely to remain so, accurate measurement has never been more important. A tiny error during custody transfer can prove extremely costly, so it is a good time to review metering technology Inaccurate metering could easily cause a terminal to lose around $614,250 (€417,823) a month, so if a terminal can improve its metering to 0.15% accuracy it could save over $254,000 every month, so it is not difficult to justify the expense of such specialist equipment. Positive displacement (PD) meters aim to physically measure every drop of product that passes through them. Various methods exist, each designed to reduce the chance of any oil passing through unmeasured without creating too much friction that would cause wear, leading to inaccuracy in future, while minimising pressure drop or reduction in flow rates. The simplest to understand are sliding vanes meters in which vanes rotate in contact with the meter casing gathering a fixed volume of fluid, then withdraw back into the hub after passing the outlet port. Smith PD Meters produced by the FMC group are typical of this type. These devices rely on the quality of the seal that can be maintained between the vanes and casing. Under high pressures the casing itself can distort leading to inaccuracies. To counter this, double-case meters have an outer pressure case and an inner casing for the measuring device. The space between the two is filled with oil taken from the outlet side of the meter so the strain on the inner case is constant - created by the pressure drop across the meter itself. To read this article in full you will need to subscribe to Tank Storage Magazine or buy the back-issue. Click here for further details