Excelling in a mature market
Odfjell Terminals Rotterdam is focusing its business strategy on more specialised markets as it brings the remaining part of its capacity into operation While an influx of capital into the mature ARA hub has led to more storage capacity being built, Odfjell Terminals Rotterdam is focusing on excelling in specialist product ranges to provide more market value.After several years of favourable contango conditions, the ARA is now oversupplied with middle distillate and petrol storage – and more is yet to come by market players in Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Antwerp thanks to easy access to capital against favourable terms.However, executives at Odfjell Terminals Rotterdam are looking to expand in certain specialised markets where they can add the most value to their customers.As it brings the last of its storage capacity into operation following the issues it faced in 2012, CEO Frank Erkelens explains how a comprehensive masterplan detailing the future strategy of the terminal ensures the companywill excel in an otherwise crowded market.
Feeding the world's energy appetite
The global appetite for energy consumption is set to continue its upwards trajectory for the next 20 years at least.The US Energy Information Admiration’s (EIA) International Energy Outlook 2017 projects a 28% increase in global energy consumption until 2040, with much of the increase expected to come from non-OECD countries, where strong economic growth, increased access to marketed energy and rapid population growth is driving demand for energy.In the reports ‘reference case’, which assumes continual improvement in known technologies based on current trends and leading economic forecasts, energy consumption in non-OECD countries will increase by 41% between 2015 and 2040 compared to just 9% in OECD countries.World energy consumption (including petroleum, other liquids, natural gas, coal and electricity) is expected to total 736 quadrillion British thermal units by 2040, with non OECD countries dominating demand with 475 quadrillion Btu.
Transforming storage for a diverse market
Following significant investments to modernise operations – and continued efforts to enhance its safety performance and capabilities – Vesta Terminals is fully aligned to meet market demands Fluctuating European market dynamics have created a range of opportunities and challenges – but Vesta Terminals’facilities have thrived as a result of its flexible and agile business model.The company, which has three facilities spread across Northern Europe totalling more than 1.6 million m3 of storage, benefits from operating in two historically strong trading and storage markets – the ARA and the Baltics. Antwerp and Flushing in the ARA, where the company is present, are part of one of the most active trading hubs in the world; combining production, mismatches in supply and demand, a large hinterland and strong logistics.
A global storage picture
Weekly oil inventory reports will provide a global perspective on oil market fundamentals and supply and demand dynamics The world’s first set of global oil inventory reports, covering key energy regions, will provide a comprehensive intelligence picture on oil supply and demand.Ursa Space Systems started providing weekly storage inventory reports for China in May 2017, detailing oil stocks down to the tank level for a majority of the inventories as well as contextual information such as the tank owner as well as the storage type of the tanks.It has since announced plans to expand its coverage and launched a report for the Caribbean at the beginning of September and for the Middle East and North Africa at the end of September.In an interview with Tank Storage Magazine Matt Wood, VP of sales and marketing at Ursa, says that the reports will build an accurate balance sheet for better insight on oil demand and supply.‘We launched the Caribbean report primarily for our North American customers and it focuses on transient storage, whereas the Middle East and North Africa is mainly focused on the supply side.‘This is a world first because we are covering the globe on a timely and measured basis and we are providing transparency to all regions. Today’s data supplied by IEA, EIA, JODI and others are based on data reported from operators and are only available in OECD countries.
New brand, same mission
Significant changes are coming to the Polish fuel and oil storage market with the merger of the country’s largest storage operator and a pipeline company Poland’s OLPP brand is disappearing from the storage market as part of a merger that will strengthen the country’s oil and fuel logistics operations.At the beginning of 2018, Operator Logistyczny Paliw Plynnych (OLPP), the biggest fuel storage operator with a 60% share of the Polish storage market, will merge with PERN SA, which operates pipeline networks transporting Russian rock oil for the largest fuel producers in Poland and Germany.The merger of OLPP into PERN will not only strengthen PERN, the dominant company in the Capital Group, and increase its overall value, it will enable it to increase Poland’s energy security in the rock oil and fuel market.According to Pawel Stanczyk, president of the management board of the OLPP, It will also mean that the structure of oil and fuel logistics in Poland will become stronger and more organised.‘We will operate as a single entity – PERN SA’, he explains.
Germany: Europe''s economic success story
Touted as the powerhouse of the Eurozone, Germany’s core energy distribution role makes its storage market low risk, stable and reliable. Amy McLellan reports Another month, another election shock in Europe. September 2017 saw the previously unassailable conservative alliance, between the Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union, record its worst result for almost 70 years. While German Chancellor Angela Merkel remains in charge for a fourth term, her party suffered heavy losses and months of coalition wrangling lie ahead to form a stable government.For a country that in recent decades has been a beacon of stability and centrism, the uncertainty, and the surge of support for the right-wing anti-immigrant AfD party, came as a shock.Political pundits reckon the most likely outcome is a ‘Jamaica’ coalition, so-called because of the colours of Jamaica’s flag and the traditional colours of the German political parties involved: the black CDU/CSU, the yellow business-friendly FDP and the Greens. Given the vast gulf between the Greens and the FDP on a wide number of policy issues – not least the Green Party’s desire to see a complete phase out of coal by 2030 – the combination could lead to prolonged horse-trading and brinkmanship.
Drones: new technology in the tank inspector's toolkit
For the past two years, Interactive Aerial has been diligently working to perfect a machine that will effectively conquer interior infrastructure inspections.After being approached by a robotic inspection company in late 2015, they were challenged with developing a robust system to fly effectively inside GPS-denied environments. Soon after realising it was not going to be a modification of a preexisting system, the team began designing an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) from scratch to meet the wide variety of demands posed by thick concrete and steel structures.Though initially developed for the internal inspections of aboveground storage tanks (ASTs), Interactive Aerial quickly diversified to several different sectors. If it is a GPS-denied, steel or concrete facility, chances are it is the perfect fit for the Legacy One aircraft.
Drone inspection: a time-quality-money solution
The use of drones are revolutionising oil and gas tank inspection by offering a more long-term and sustainable option compared to traditional methods A fast growing number of countries have enacted regulations enabling energy companies to deploy inspection drones for their maintenance requirements, saving both money and man hours, as well as avoiding more and more of potentially hazardous work each year. Aerospace and defense equity analyst at Goldman Sachs Research reported in 2016 ‘Drones are entering a new era. There’s the common thread of them increasing efficiency, increasing safety and doing so at lower costs.’ The use of drones is manifested as increased effectiveness of inspections in institutional and commercial facilities management.Drone inspection is not just about flying the drones, which is often less than 50% of the work. Drone inspection involves capturing, storing and analysing large quantities of data (high resolution photographs, IR thermal images and videos) that are gathered during a drone flight. The recording and processing of such data collected over time from the same site enables the most efficient ‘machine learning’ to the benefit of the asset manager/operator. Advancements in drone technology are turning the cumbersome maintenance effort into a safer and more streamlined data collection process for implementing maintenance management systems.This also adds value to overall management systems based on ISO 9001 (quality), ISO 14001 (environment), or OHSAS 18001 (occupational health and safety).
Engineering against the flames
Bulk liquid storage tanks pose a difficult dilemma when it comes to fire protection.Although a fully involved tank fire is a relatively infrequent event, its results are typically catastrophic in nature unless the proper planning and resources are available.Based on industry data; on average 15-20 fully involved tank fires occur each year whereas the probability of a rim-seal fire is 1X10-3. Although there have been successful extinguishments of large scale full surface fires (Orion tank fire - 2001), most will result in large monetary, business interruption, and public relation losses to a facility. Examples of tank fire case studies include Buncefield, Jaipur, Singapore, Puerto Rico, Brazil (Santos), and more recently Nicaragua.
Restoring fire detection confidence
The use of visual flame detection equipment can provide operators with a proven and comprehensive early warning system Having confidence in a safety system to mitigate fire hazards as well as increasing safety is a vital part of tank storage operations.Micropack were contracted by a major oil company to perform a flame detection mapping review on a number of floating roof crude oil storage tanks on one of their refineries in the UK. The company reviewed the arrangement of proposed visual flame detectors located around the rim seal of each of the eight storage tanks. HAZARDAs has been documented in many journals and papers, the rim seal around the entire circumference of the floating roof tank presents a major fire hazard.
Intelligent user-friendly explosion protection
Almost all petrochemical plants as well as transfer and storage facilities are subject to explosion protectionregulations to meet strict safety protocols.All electrical devices to be installed or used in hazardous areas must adhere to this particular requirement.Over time, and as a result of technical advancement and development, different types of explosion protection measures have been developed, such as protection by flameproof enclosure, encapsulation, intrinsic safety, and others.When choosing equipment, project engineers or operators should incorporate the applied type of protection into their final decision. The type of protection influences the overall level of safety, costs and the user-friendliness of theequipment.
Static electricity - mitigating the invisible risk
Static electricity is often perceived as an invisible risk. It provides an ignition source for serious fires and explosions that could occur during everyday operations involving the handling and processing of flammable products.A company supplying aluminium powder had an order cancelled when the bulk truck transporter carrying the powder was en route to a railcar hopper loading station. The truck driver was instructed to return the aluminium to the plant from where it was manufactured. As this scenario had never occurred before, there was no standard operating procedure in place to offload the aluminium from the truck back into the production facility. Shortly after the operators had worked out how to overcome some practical challenges for moving the powder back into the plant, an explosion occurred which propagated throughout the plant.
AP-42 for storage tanks is changing - does it matter?
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is reviewing draft revisions to its guidance for estimating emissions from storage tanks as published in Chapter 7.1 of the EPA’s AP-42 document (AP-42 Chapter 7.1).1This guidance presently addresses emissions from storage tanks during routine operations, and also emissions from the specific non-routine case of floating roof landings. The draft revisions would add guidance for estimatingemissions from tank cleaning events, as well as make numerous changes to the existing guidance for routine emissions. These revisions would result in changes to estimated emissions for most storage tanks, but with varying degrees of impact.Tank cleanings may be characterised as maintenance events, and as such have long been neglected in the regulatory programs of many states. However, the EPA issued final action effective May 22, 2015 (SSM Rule)2 requiring 36 states to revise their state implementation plans (SIPs) to address emissions from startup, shutdown, maintenance and malfunction (SSM) events. Revised SIPs were to be submitted to the EPA by November 22, 2016, but the SSM rule has been challenged in the courts3 and the court process has been delayed by the Trump administration.4 On the one hand, the status of the SSM rule is presently in limbo, however the direction of the courts has been to require control of emissions from SSM events.5 There is therefore potential for emissions from tank cleaning events to become subject to regulatory scrutiny in states that have traditionally neglected maintenance emissions.
A new era in storage guidance
Robin Essenius, chairman of the working group that has developed Edition 5 of EEMUA 159, reviews the continued value of the guide worldwide and highlights some of the major changes in the latest release The end of the 1980s marked significant developments in the geopolitical arena and major changes took place.It was the beginning of the era where it became apparent that society was becoming increasingly vulnerable to the effects of ageing assets. Where the incident of the oil tanker running aground off the coast of Alaska could be contributed to human error, the oil spill incident near Pittsburgh could not.This incident, which polluted the drinking water of nearly 1 million people with diesel fuel, was directly caused by the failure of a single aboveground storage tank. This failure was the result of a lack of strong industry standards, governmental regulations and the enforcement thereof.In the aftermath of the Pittsburgh incident, organisations such as the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the Engineering Equipment and Materials Users Association (EEMUA) and owners began to reconsider their views on requirements for maintaining assets.
Guarding against corrosion
One of the main causes of tank storage failures is soil-side corrosion, which, if left untreated, can cause significant operational challenges.Therefore, it is crucial to employ an effective form of corrosion control, either cathodic protection (CP), or vapour corrosion inhibitors.
Achieving accurate storage operations
Besides manual dipping and float and tape there are the two widely distributed modern day methods for automated tankgauging.These methods offer precision values of 0.5mm and lower: Servo technology and radar technology. Both technologies have been on the market for well over 20 years and are proven in many applications; so in essence, both technologies meet the stringent requirements for high accuracy level measurement.How do these different technologies work and what are the resulting advantages of each of these methods? Why is high accuracy so important and how can operators use high quality data to optimise their operations?Consider an operator with ten oil tanks, each filled and drained once a week. If the level instruments have ±3 mm accuracy according to the operator’s technical specifications, and each tank holds two million gallons, the uncertainty in the measurement is approximately 554 gallons per week.
How to prepare the storage sector for terrorist attacks
In recent times, terrorist attacks and acts of sabotage against oil and gas facilities have repeatedly occurred.Strikes on pipelines, tank vessels, refineries, oil fields and tank storage facilities have sadly become more and more common.Furthermore, the effectiveness and intensity of this threat has increased over recent years. The reason for this is that critical energy infrastructure is inexorably linked to the political and economic stability of the main oil and gas producing regions around the world. A successful attack can easily lead to political and economic destabilisation.In the past, attacks have been limited to those targeted at tank storage facilities and refineries in distant countries and remote areas, but not in western, industrialised nations.
A modern approach to firefighting
Serving approximately 65% of the Greek oil products wholesale market, Hellenic Petroleum sought to enhance its Aspropyrgos refinery with an upgrade of its firefighting monitors.Hellenic Petroleum’s core activity is refining, with the Aspropyrgos refinery being one of the group’s largest facilities and it is one of the company’s three domestic and coastal facilities. Since its creation in 1958, the refinery has undergone a series of notable upgrades, making the Aspropyrgos facility one of Europe’s most progressive and up-to-date refineries producing petroleum products in line with Europe’s high standards.