Keeping oil storage tanks safe and functional involves continued investment in maintenance.

Vessels that store corrosive materials like petroleum and other products must undergo frequent inspections performed by qualified oil storage tank services to ensure they are meeting required safety standards.

Regular oil storage tank inspections are the preferred way to ensure all tanks continue to meet the API 653 standards designed to detect tank and safety issues over the lifetime of the tank.

The Purpose of Tank Standards

No matter what liquid is stored in a large tank, the metal will corrode over time, slowly affecting the integrity of the vessel.

Tank standards established by the American Petroleum Industry (API) set a minimum value for a variety of inspection measurements taken by oil storage tank services to analyze the rate and degree of metal decomposition and what issues might be present or expected.

Storage tank maintenance and repair programs are designed according to these results and then put into play to correct any developing issues and slow the effect of corrosion on the vessel.

API 653, which is a heightened standard specifically for oil tanks, sets a minimum oil tank inspection standard that each tank must meet or be considered at risk and in need of specific repairs or solutions.

What Do API 653 Oil Storage Tank Inspections Include?

When inspectors from qualified oil storage tank services perform API 653 inspections they look at many different values to determine tank condition, the following covering just some of those data points:

  • External physical appearance and condition.
  • Internal physical appearance and condition.
  • The physical thickness of tank shell, bottom, and roof.
  • Metal density and weight comparisons over time.

These and other measurements are taken as part of a comprehensive oil storage tank inspection to analyze metal and liner condition, corrosion rate, and estimate and assess any potential or current issues.

How and When Are API 653 Oil Tank Inspections Done?

An accepted standard in the U.S. and throughout much of the world, API 653 Standard inspection frequency depends on the tank.

All tanks must be externally inspected a minimum of every 5 years by a qualified oil storage tank service or more frequently for older tanks.

Detailed interior inspections must be done according to the documented corrosion rate of the tank metal and other components.

Until recently, these inspections were very time-consuming, involving a large amount of estimation in terms of analyzing collected data and using it to develop appropriate oil tank maintenance programs to slow corrosion and keep tanks serviceable and safe.

Today, there is newer technology that makes these inspections not just faster and easier but also more reliable.

Using a newer laser-scanning technique and associated analysis software, digital data that was previously unobtainable can now be used by inspectors to get a more accurate picture of the condition of each tank and what solutions it requires.

Keep Up With API 653 Standards

There is no argument that keeping oil storage vessels safe and in service involves frequent, thorough oil storage tank inspections to ensure compliance with API 653 standards.

Owners must simply be sure to hire the best inspectors, with access to the latest technology, to perform those inspections.

The more detailed and conclusive each inspection is, the more suitable the prescribed oil storage tank maintenance and repair plan to maintain API 653 standards will be.

Need Oil Storage Tank Inspections in Oklahoma, Texas, or Surrounding Areas?

Dunham Engineering Does Inspections and Other Oil Storage Tank Services!

Call 979-413-4687 To Learn More!


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