It will be a familiar picture for those of you working on tank maintenance: people going in and out of the tank for e.g. cleaning and inspection activities. This is not only very costly and labour intensive, it also poses significant safety risks.

 

While further developments are still ongoing, there are already opportunities to significantly reduce human entry in storage tanks and at the same time reduce the duration of tank outages through deployment of proven technologies. Our experience is that a reduction between 10-25% is possible. The technologies that enable this have been used somewhere in the industry, but have often not been replicated from one company to the other.

 

To illustrate the above: we got in contact with a Middle East operator, and together with the tank maintenance team we reviewed the scope and execution methodology for one of their upcoming tank maintenance programmes. The alternative approaches that we recommended had all been used somewhere in the industry, but not yet by this specific operator. Based on the initial assessment, the outcome was that the tank outage time could be reduced from ~9 to ~7 months. In this particular case it also meant that 200 kboe production deferment could be avoided, in addition to the very significant reduction in number of exposure hours.

 

In order to support the deployment of technologies that enabled this change, we created a ‘storage tank’ module in the Technology Catalogue. The Technology Catalogue went live in July with the initial batch of technologies, and since the launch we already welcomed >1000 visitors. It is similar to ‘Tripadvisor’, but then with technologies instead of hotels or restaurants. Users can access and register for free; suppliers pay a fee per technology (with the exception of start-ups, under certain conditions; check our website). User/expert reviews give the confidence to rapidly replicate technologies from one operator to the next.

 

The Technology Catalogue is a win-win. Suppliers can expect more pull for their products through the increased exposure. Operators can improve their operational and safety performance by deploying technologies found in the catalogue.

 

Do you want to know more about the Technology Catalogue or assess the applicability to your operations? Please contact Vincent van Beusekom.

 

An initial assessment of what can be done for your tank maintenance activities doesn’t take long. Typically the starting point is 2-5 days of consultancy, dependent on the scope/complexity of the activities. The next phase is dependent on the outcome of the initial assessment, and on your needs.

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