COMAH regulations altered under Seveso III Directive
June saw the implementation of the European Union’s Seveso III Directive, which brings some changes to the ‘Control of Major Accident Hazards’ (COMAH) regulations in the UK.The adapted directive, which replaced the Seveso II directive, focuses on the new system of classification of dangerous substances under the European Regulation on Classification, Labelling and Packaging.So what are the changes being implemented by the COMAH regulations 2015 because of Seveso III? ClassificationThe scope of the Seveso III Directive is based on the EU legislation on the classification, labelling and packaging of chemical substances and mixtures.
Inadequate industry standards identified in Caribbean Petroleum investigation
The response of US industry, trade and professional associations to past incidents has been inadequate to prevent similar incidents, such as the Caribbean Petroleum (CAPECO) explosion in 2009.In its draft interim report, the US Chemical Safety Board found that the current regulatory structure does not consider bulk aboveground storage tank terminals storing flammable liquid to be highly hazardous.The report stated that due to a lack of regulatory coverage under the Occupational Safety and Heath Administration’s (OSHA) Process Safety Management standard and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Risk Management Plan – tank terminal facility are not required to conduct risk assessments to address flammable hazards on sites or to follow Recognised and Generally Accepted Good Engineering Practices.
The fluid nature of storing oil on the high seas
With oil prices currently at a low, the demand for storage facilities is ever increasing. SOHAR Port and Freezone’s Edwin Lammers explains the effect that global oil prices are having on the shipping industry and the benefits andrisks associated with storing crude oil. SOHAR Port and Freezone is experiencing a period of tremendous growth at the moment - the current low price of oil, combined with its growing reputation and the increasingly competitive nature of the business, has resulted in a huge increase in traders, amongst others, reaching out to work with the company. Hot topicThe price of oil is a big talking point at the moment. Plunging prices are having an effect on the shipping industry worldwide and have led to an increase in demand for onshore and offshore storage. Due to the high demand, short-term tank storage is more difficult to come by so traders have turned to long-term storage solutions, such as floating storage and super tankers, which can hold crude offshore for up to 12 months - the bigger the capacity, the better.
A one way street
Fuel distribution and storage provider Oryx Energies jointly owns (with the Tanzanian government) one of the largest bulk import and storage sites in sub-Saharan Africa. TIPER is a former refinery located in the strategic port of Dar es Salaam. In June 2015, Oryx Energies finished renovating two additional crude tanks at the site, bringing the facility’s capacity to 250,000 m3 in 32 tanks.These tanks are used for strategic storage as well as being available to third party customers. ‘The terminal is in an excellent location for transporting product to Africa’s landlocked countries, such as Rwanda, Zambia, the DRC or even Uganda,’ Thierry Genthialon, MD for asset management and business development at Oryx Energies, explains.The main purpose of storage in Africa is not quite the same as in northern Europe or on the American coasts where the ports have two-way traffic. Most of the ports in Africa have one-way traffic, handling imported product and product for further distribution on the coast or inland.
Turkey: interest wanes from international operators
Rising regional geopolitical tensions and conflicts are underscoring Turkey’s importance as a regional oil transit hubgiven its location between the oil rich Middle East and the Caspian region, and consuming markets in Europe. Turkey is also a major oil consumer in itself. With few significant hydrocarbon resources of its own and rapidly growing demand, the country is heavily dependent on foreign oil supplies to meet its needs.Around 3% of the world’s annual oil supply passes through the Turkish Straits, which is the Black Sea’s only maritimeconnection to the world’s oceans, and they are under Turkish control. In 2013, some 2.5 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil and around 400,000 bpd of oil products flowed through the Turkish Straits (which include the Bosphorus and Dardanelles waterways), according to the US EIA.
Guideline changes for refrigerated storage tanks
The Engineering Equipment and Materials Users Association (EEMUA) has completely revised its Publication 147: “Recommendations for refrigerated liquefied gas storage tanks”.EEMUA 147 collates best practices and advice from among the EEMUA membership – the owners and operators of industrial assets across process industries – and from outside, providing a comprehensive source for those who ownand operate refrigerated storage tanks. History of EEMUA 147The guideline was first published in 1986 and was the first document in the world to categorise refrigerated and/or cryogenic tanks into different types. These were:• single containment tanks• double containment tanks• full containment tanksThe categorisation was mainly based on the differences in resistance levels of the total tank system to internal and external normative and accidental loads and load combinations.
The future's bright, the future's LNG
Within the energy sector, all eyes are firmly on LNG as a secure energy supply, and the growth of terminal andstorage capacity is testament to this trend.A flood of new LNG supplies has been predicted by the International Energy Agency in its 2015 mediumterm gas market report – with both export and import capacity set to increase as supplies surge.It is expected that global LNG export capacity will increase by more than 40% by 2020, with 90% of this additional capacity coming from Australia. The Australian LNG industry has been slated to become the world’s largest and most technologically advanced and could contribute more than AUD$55 billion (€39 billion).
Made in the USA..
Shale gas development in the US has been referred to by corporate executives as ‘a miracle’. In the late seventies, the US was so certain it was running out of natural gas that Congress passed ‘The Fuel Use Act’; effectively banning new natural gas fired power plants. A few years later this was reversed but supplies historically proved tight and priceswere regarded as high, and in some particularly cold winters spot prices would double from annual average prices.Project developers rapidly began plans for building new liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminals. Four import terminals had been in operation for years (in the lower 48 states):• Everett (Massachusetts)• Cove Point (Maryland)• Elba Island (Georgia)• Lake Charles (Louisiana)
Opening the LNG gateway to west Texas
An LNG export terminal at the Port of Brownsville, Texas, will open up the Eagle Ford fields of south west Texas to international exports by 2020.Texas LNG, which is located in the most southern part of Texas, is the closest of all US ports to the Panama Canal, which provides crucial access to the Asian markets, which are predicted to remain the largest source of LNG demand according to the International Gas Union.The project, which will be constructed in two phases, remains on schedule to delivering its first shipments of LNG from 2020. The first phase will involve the construction of one 210,000 m3 tank, which will be expanded should phase two of the project receive commercial and governmental approvals.
The ups and downs of running an LNG terminal
In its four years of operation, Europe’s youngest land based large LNG regasification terminal Gate has seen the LNG market change drastically and rapidly.Gate’s commercial manager Stefaan Adriaens explains: ‘One of the most drastic market changes happened just before we became operational. The unfortunate tsunami that hit Japan in 2011 resulted in the country idling all its nuclear power plants. Gas fired power plants had to increase their output and in Japan gas means LNG as the country for geographic reasons imports all its gas in liquid form.’Combined with increasing LNG demand in various Asian countries this resulted in spot LNG prices rising to twice the level of European gas prices.
A tale of two European markets
Uniquely located to two key markets, the largest LNG terminal in continental Europe promises to put itself on the global LNG map by improving competition within the market and securing supply across the continent.The Dunkerque LNG terminal in the Port of Dunkirk will have an annual regasification capacity of 13 billion m3 of gas, which represents around 20% of France and Belgium's annual natural gas consumption – making it the largest terminal in continental Europe.Additionally the terminal will also be able to accommodate the world's largest LNG tankers in France at the western outer harbour from a jetty that can accommodate Qmax methane tankers with a capacity of 266,000 m3.
The European LNG terminal infrastructure 2015: status and outlook
In 2003 the Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) association published the first LNG map showing the location and characteristics of eight operational large-scale LNG terminals.Since then the European LNG terminal infrastructure landscape has changed significantly. The 2015 version of the LNG map shows the main characteristics of all 23 large-scale and four small-scale operational LNG terminals in Europe, information on the LNG terminals under construction as well as the planned projects. Although still shown on themap, this number and all data presented in this article do not include the Teesside GasPort, a dockside floating regasification facility located near Middlesbrough in the UK. After the finalisation of the 2015 update of the GIE LNG Map, the facility was decommissioned as it came to the end of its commercially viable life.
SINGAPORE: set to become Asia's LNG trading hub
As the leading bulk liquids logistics hub in Asia, it makes sense that Singapore is keen to also develop into an LNGtrading hub.The country uses gas for more than 95% of its electricity and is also home to the first open-access, multi-user LNG terminal in Asia. The Singapore LNG (SLNG) Terminal is designed to efficiently unload and reload cargoes from storage, making it possible for traders to make use of any excess capacity to store gas during low-consumption periods before selling them during peak demand seasons in winter and summer.‘Given Singapore’s geographic location, there are limitations to the sources from which we can procure piped natural gas,’SLNG’s commercial VP Sriram Narayanan explains. ‘As such, the LNG terminal supports the country’s diversification strategy by enabling natural gas to be sourced from just about anywhere in the world. It also means that the country can now have global access to competitively priced gas.’
Tank gauging innovations improve LNG terminal efficiency and safety
Newly developed technology for tank gauging can help LNG facilities and terminals handle the ever-increasing demands on efficiency, safety and accuracy.An open system architecture makes it easy to install the devices needed today and add or replace units in the future. This flexibility protects users’ investments so that storage facilities can become and stay efficient.Additional benefits include lower installation costs, high accuracy and built-in safety functions. One feature with substantial potential for savings is the wireless transmission of measurement values. This enables high precision tank gauging data to be made available anywhere on the plant at a much smaller cost than before.
Vapour recovery developments in emission standards and applications
Throughout the world today, vapour recovery systems are a common sight at distribution terminals handling the transfer of products ranging from petrol to aromatics, such as benzene and xylene, and increasingly, crude oil. Someof the largest vapour recovery units in the world are used in crude oil transfer operations. Vapour handling capacitiesbetween 10,000m3/hr and 40,000m3/hr are not uncommon in crude oil applications.Activated carbon vapour recovery units remain the preferred technology, often referred to as the best available technology (BAT), in many of these applications.These systems provide operators with maximum flexibility because they are capable of handling an extensive rangeof product and feature a wide turn down ratio capability, from 0% to 100% of the design flow and inlet concentrations.
Advanced data analysis increases bottom line in refined fuels sector
Operators of refined fuel terminals have a particularly huge appetite for timely data. But just like in other industries, collecting vast amounts of terminal data is of limited use if you can't analyse it, manipulate it and make decisions on it. As actively traded commodities, oil and gas are subject to dramatic price changes on a daily basis, making efficient and flexible terminal operations key to success.The core platform for collecting, analysing and operationalising terminal data will come from a nextgenerationterminal automation system (TAS). Changing role of the terminalHistorically, terminals were viewed as cost centres. People in the refined fuels industry have watched the role of theterminal change over the past decade to what is now considered an integral stop in the supply chain.
Improve inspection results for reliable decisions in asset management
Storage tanks are highly valuable assets that are often subjected to harsh conditions and they operate within an ever tightening regulatory landscape. The typical tank operator is looking to extend asset life, eliminate unplanned downtime, and lengthen intervals between out of service inspections whilst continually complying with national and international codes and standards.Recent tank floor inspection technology advances and availability of ASNT TC-1A tank inspection specific training programs address some key challenges associated with storage tank inspections.These equipment advances together with qualified technicians can: • Improve inspection data quality• Increase inspection efficiency• Improve corrosion analysis• Provide auditable inspection data archiving To ultimately: • Increase inspection confidence and reliability• Increase asset safety and profitability
Tank inspection and calibration in South Africa
Tanks can be generically classified into two classes: pressurised tanks, such as LPG storage tanks with a design pressure of 50 kilopascals or higher, and atmospheric or low pressure storage tanks for petroleum products for example.The inspection and test requirements for the two classes differ from a local regulatory perspective as well as with regards to the international standards addressing the inservice inspection of tanks. Pressurised tanksPressurised tanks are regulated under the South African Pressure Equipment Regulations (PER) of the OccupationalHealth and Safety (OHS) Act. This requires that tanks are inspected and tested every 36 months unless certain provisions are met. The involvement of a Government Approved Inspection Authority (AIA) in all aspects of repair, modification and routine inspection and testing is mandatory.