Traditional tank cleaning was impossible for a 140’ crude oil tank with an external floating roof because of a 9-foot sludge heel. With automated above ground storage tank cleaning using Industrial Tank Solution’s BLABOÒ process, the client recovered 40,000 barrels of oil and saved $3.95 million.
A 9-Foot Problem
With a 9-foot sludge heel, the external roof of the crude oil tank could not be safely landed for traditional tank cleaning. The challenges of this tank cleaning scenario called for a specialized, non-man entry solution that would properly desludge the tank. The cleaning process would also have to facilitate hydrocarbon recovery without introducing chemicals to the product.
Step-By-Step Look At The Process:
- Industrial Tank Solutions workers used the SafeTap® process to cold-cut holes for top-entry single nozzle sweepers (TE-SNS)
- Industrial Tank Solutions used the remaining liquid inside to slurry and shear the sludge mound to an acceptable level
- Within 48 hours of the project’s start, the sludge heel was adequately distributed, and the roof was safely landed.
- Once vapor space was created, nitrogen gas was generated onsite to maintain <8% oxygen levels for a safe, non-flammable environment for cleaning.
- Next, Industrial Tank Solutions fluidized the sludge to a pumpable state for transfer and recovery.
- Then, a water wash was conducted to remove residual hydrocarbons and eliminate volatile compounds
- Industrial Tank Solutions verified the safety of the environment and opened manways for ventilation
Specialized Solutions Return Significant Savings
Within 48 hours, Industrial Tank Solutions safely landed the roof of the crude oil tank having successfully distributed a 9-foot sludge heel. Using non-man entry, the tank was safely and effectively cleaned (as shown by the picture above) and 40,000 barrels of oil were recovered, 100% of which was reprocessed. Having saved $900,000 in disposal costs and $2.8 million in product recovery, and finishing the project at least 50 days sooner than traditional contractors, the client was looking at $3.95 million in total savings.