You might think that filling an oil storage tank was straightforward. Not so, as the 2005 Buncefield, UK tank farm fire demonstrated. After the fire, investigators determined that ‘Tank filling management systems at Buncefield were both deficient and not properly followed.’
Buncefield has since been the subject of intense study and has informed a ‘radically changed’ edition API 2350 standard. The Complete Guide to Version 4.0 is authored by Johan Sandberg of Emerson’s Rosemount division. Sandberg traces the evolution of tank gauging technology from the 1940s to the latest radar devices and high-level alarms. The latter can be point-level, discrete devices or provide continuous measurements. Point level devices may be easy to deploy but the question is whether they work or not, as they usually lack communications and diagnostics.
Today’s best practices are for continuous measurements of tank levels and remote proof-testing to verify proper operation. ‘2-in-1’ radar devices are also recommended for redundancy and safety. More from the informative paper and the Rosemount Tank Gauging minisite.
© Oil IT Journal - all rights reserved.