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Site considerations for production tanks
Selecting the proper location for a storage tank is of prime importance.
Typical tank battery
A typical tank battery contains two or more tanks and usually has a capacity equal to four days production.
Level and spacing
Tanks should be level with each other and have a minimum spacing of 3 ft between tanks, unless increased spacing is required by local code.
Dikes are generally provided to contain the volume of a certain portion of the tanks enclosed depending on the tank contents. Dikes are used to protect surrounding property from tank spills or fires. In general, the net volume of the enclosed area should be the volume of the largest tank enclosed (single-failure concept). The dike walls may be earth, steel, concrete, or solid masonry designed to be watertight with a full hydrostatic head behind them.
Local codes might require provisions for secondary containment of the area to limit environmental risks, should a tank leak develop. If more than one tank is within the area, curbs or, preferably, drainage channels can be provided to subdivide the area to protect the adjacent tanks from possible spills.
The tank foundation or grade should be slightly elevated, level, and somewhat larger in diameter than the tank itself, with the surrounding area graded to provide good drainage away from the tank(s).
The best grade is one made of small gravel, crushed rock, etc.
Water and circulation
This type of grade allows no water to stand underneath the tank and provides air circulation.
If the tank is to be set directly on the ground, felt tarpaper may be applied to the grade first and the tank set on this.
If concrete is used for the grade, it should be slightly larger in diameter than the tank and might have shallow grooves on the surface for improved air circulation.
Codes, standards, and specification
Numerous codes, standards, and specifications may regulate the location, design, and installation of storage tanks dependent on their end use. API RP12R1, Setting, Maintenance, Inspection, Operation, and Repair of Tanks in Production Service provides information on new battery installations and can serve as a guide for revamping existing batteries if required.
Selection of the proper specification and providing adequate fire protection for the installation may lower insurance rates over the life of the installation.
Evaporative Loss Measurement. 1997. In Manual of Petroleum Measurement Standards, Ch. 19, Sec. 2-E. Washington, DC: API.
API RP12R1, Setting, Maintenance, Inspection, Operation, and Repair of Tanks in Production Service, fifth edition. 1997. Washington, DC: API.
API RP575, Inspection of Atmospheric and Low-Pressure Storage Tanks, first edition. 1995. Washington, DC: API.
API RP651, Cathodic Protection of Aboveground Petroleum Storage Tanks, second edition. 1997. Washington, DC: API.
API RP652, Lining of Aboveground Petroleum Storage Tank Bottoms, first edition. 1991. Washington, DC: API.
API RP2003, Protection Against Ignitions Arising Out of Static, Lightning, and Stray Currents, fifth edition. 1991. Washington, DC: API.
API Spec. 12B, Bolted Tanks for Storage of Production Liquids, fourteenth edition. 1995. Washington, DC: API.
API Spec. 12D, Field-Welded Tanks for Storage of Production Liquids, tenth edition. 1994. Washington, DC: API.
API Spec. 12F, Shop-Welded Tanks for Storage of Production Liquids, eleventh edition. 1994. Washington, DC: API.
API Standard 650, Welded Steel Tanks for Oil Storage, tenth edition. 1998. Washington, DC: API.
API Standard 653, Tank Inspection, Repair, Alteration, and Reconstruction, second edition. 1995. Washington, DC: API.
API Standard 2000, Venting Atmospheric and Low-Pressure Storage Tanks (Nonrefrigerated and Refrigerated), fifth edition. 1998. Washington, DC: API.
API Standard 620, Design and Construction of Large, Low-Pressure Storage Tanks, tenth edition. 2002. Washington, DC: API.
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