Petroleum & crude oil storage: what fuel manufacturers should know about the bulk storage?

Petroleum & crude oil storage

Oil or petroleum is an essential component of our daily life. We consume a wide range of fuels to power up vehicle engines, jet planes, furnaces and heavy machines in industries. Regardless of final use and characteristics, all kinds of fuels are extracted from underground geological ores. Naturally occurring crude oil is the liquid mixture of hydrocarbons, which is filtered and refined to produce petroleum products. After refining, processed product is distributed to final consumers.

As we all know petroleum products are volatile, flammable and combustible, they require proper storage for safe handling during and after processing. In fact, production of petroleum and fuel from crude oil require unique kind of storage tanks. Oil refineries pay special attention to construct efficient storage system.

How are fuel-storage-tanks constructed?

Crude oil storage vessels are constructed above ground up to the code to certify that there are no leaks to damage the environment. Petroleum storage in UAE is purposefully constructed to meet not only the international standards but also to fulfil the needs of refineries and terminals.

What kinds of tanks are suitable for fuel manufacturers?

Storage tanks or vessels are available in different sizes and configurations to meet the diversifying needs of oil explorers, refineries and fuel distributors. Depending on their requirements, they can choose a suitable kind of storage system. Small reservoirs are fit for production facilities, whereas large tanks are ideal for distribution terminals and refineries. Regardless of their size, tanks are bolted and welded well to avoid leaks and spills.

What are pressurised and atmospheric tanks?

Pressurized tanks use additional pressure to limit evaporation rate of the volatile liquid. They are best for refined petroleum products like gasoline, petrol, kerosene and diesel oil. In contrast to that atmospheric vessels are good for crude oil storage.
Atmospheric tanks are further subdivided into the open top, fixed roof and floating roof storage. The open top should not be used for fuel and volatile chemicals. It’s good for water storage. Besides this, remaining two types of vessels are suitable for crude oil and fuel storage.

Vessels with the fixed roof are good for storing small quantities, whereas large quantities of fuel can be stored in floating roof tanks. Floating roof adjusts itself according to the amount of liquid present in the vessel.
Why are floating roof containers excellent for crude oil?

Vessels with floating or adjustable roofs don’t let volatile natural gas and air pollutants emission in the atmosphere. The rimmed seal of roof keeps these combustible inside. Otherwise, these vapors can cause fire and explosions. Later these gases and pollutants are captured, extracted, processed and packed and sale out to buyers.

How should these tanks be constructed?

Regardless of size and type of tanks, storage vessels should be constructed carefully. They should be welded well to eliminate leaks. Carbon steel, stainless steel and fiberglass are few of the popular materials used to make petroleum storage. Depending on their needs, manufacturers are allowed to choose vessels with suitable dimensions and material choices.
Endnote: These are few major types of crude oil and fuel storage tanks available for petroleum storage in UAE. Manufacturers should not forget to consider quantity, quality and characteristics of fuel they are going to store in the vessel.

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