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Petroleum Tanks are Necessary with Refinery Operation Expansions


It’s no secret that the petroleum industry is highly important in today’s society. Products stemming from petroleum reach further than the obvious application of fuel; they include textiles, plastics, personal care products and more.

For several years, the oil and gas industry was faced with economic challenges. In 2014, it was hit with rapidly falling prices, which forced companies to downsize their operations or, for some, close altogether. The oil price collapse lasted several years, with the price of a barrel of oil sinking as low as $27 in early 2016, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Oil and Gas Industry Recovery

Luckily, with time came recovery. Prices are continuing to increase; according to a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers, Brent crude was up 90 percent in 2016. As such, several companies are looking at expansions and new projects. For example, Jordan Petroleum Refinery Co. recently announced plans for a $1.6 billion expansion project in Zarqa, Jordan, according to a press release.

“Expansion projects are incredibly complex and require high levels of expertise.”

“The expansion of the Zarqa refinery is a very important project because, in addition to improving the quality of products, it will grow its capacity to 120,000 barrels per day,” Abdul Karim Alaween, JPRC’s CEO, said in a statement. “It will help us meet the rising demand for fuel, which is growing at an average of 3 percent every year.”

Expansion projects like this are incredibly complex and require high levels of expertise. To ensure their expansion will go smoothly, JPRC will work with U.S.-based company Honeywell UOP, which will assist in refinery design and providing necessary equipment. Obtaining high-quality equipment is essential in operations that can be dangerous.

Oil Refinery Tanks Needed for Petroleum Operations

One critical component to a petroleum refinery operation is the right refinery tanks to store the liquid. According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, one of the first steps in crude oil pretreatment is removing contaminants from the product that could cause issues like corrosion, fouling and plugging in various pieces of equipment further down the processing line.

To remove contaminants like solids suspended in the liquid, salts and metals, chemical surfactant and water is added to the crude oil, which is then heated up. The oil is then pumped into a petroleum tank where the contaminants are allowed to settle out. This method of chemical desalting is more commonly employed when high levels of solids need to be removed.

Electrical desalting is another method used to remove impurities from crude oil. With this strategy, high-voltage electrostatic charges are released into the oil tank, which force contaminants down to the bottom of the tank.

Even though many industries rely on petroleum, there is always risk associated with these operations. Petroleum and its byproducts are highly flammable, which means any area that has a high concentration of these liquids presents a fire hazard. OSHA explained that even fumes leaving a tank through a leak, crack or insufficiently sealed door or lid present a fire danger. As such, it’s critical that companies ensure they have the best tanks to keep their employees and equipment safe.

Companies that are planning to expand or upgrade their petroleum operations will need to seek out high-quality tanks for their locations. Mobile Mini Tank + Pump Solutions can help determine your needs and how to meet them.