Above Ground Petroleum Storage Tank Cleaning

April 9, 2016
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Project Challenge

A client submitted a request for the cleaning and degassing of a 198 foot above ground crude oil storage tank with less than 3,000 barrels of product and tank bottoms. All steel above ground crude oil storage tanks must have their integrity inspected per DOT requirements. For safety reasons, it is critical that tanks are thoroughly cleaned and degassed before inspection.

Why use Action Environmental to clean your crude oil storage tanks?

  • An exemplary record of safely cleaning and degassing hundreds of tanks for customers across the US
  • Verified compliance with standards governing insurance, quality of training and safety record through ISNetworld
  • Proven track record on safely cleaning crude oil storage tanks on time and on budget

Project Solution

In preparation for the tank cleaning project, a job walk was conducted to gauge ease of entry, evaluate potential safety hazards such as powerlines, soft earth from precipitation, standing water or congested areas, and identify the number and size of manways.

Day 1

On day 1 of the project crew members arrived with all equipment to safely clean a crude oil storage tank. The project manager and site supervisor met with company representatives to review the job scope, noting any changes that might impact how the job would be managed and completed. With no changes to the job scope, the site supervisor obtained all proper work permits. At this point, the site supervisor conducted a pre-job safety meeting and reviewed the job scope with the crew. Once this was complete, the crew positioned equipment around the tank to be cleaned. 

Liquid ring King Vac truck used to vacuum product and heavy sludge.

70 BBL Bobtail vacuum truck on standby to remove product from the King Vac truck and inject the product back into the client's system.

Action tank cleaning trailer.

Action employee conducting "Hole Watch" in accordance with 29 CFR 1920.146.

Day 2 - 5

Crew members make entry and remove as much product and tank bottoms as possible. Crews use rubber squeegees to push product to a collection point within the tank interior. By using rubber squeegees, there is a very low probability of crew members damaging interior tank coatings. All product and tank bottoms are vacuumed into a liquid ring King Vac truck. From there, product is transferred into a designated crude oil storage tank via 70 barrel bobtail vacuum truck or 4” transfer pump. 

Crew members using squeegees to push product to a collection point.

Crew members vacuuming product into liquid ring King Vac truck.

Day 6 - 7

Crews prepare the tank floor for steam wash. Once the majority of product and tank bottoms are removed, crew members use diesel to help breakup oily residue left behind on tank floor. Diesel is brushed in and if time permits, diesel is allowed to sit overnight. Along with prepping the floor and the bottom of the external floating roof, the interior tank shell must be cleaned of any harden oily substance. In most cases, this is done with steel scrapers. Crew members are extremely careful not to use steel scrapers on portions of the shell that is coated with an epoxy coating.

All tank bottoms have been removed and only oily residue is left to be cleaned by diesel wash and steam cleaning.

Crew member steam power washing the tank floor.

Project Results

When properly cleaned, white epoxy coating inside the tank interior will be glossy white.

Contact Us

Contact us for a quote on your next crude oil storage tank cleaning project.

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Action Environmental | Emergency Response | Environmental Services | Oil & Gas | Tank Management
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