Mandatory Regulatory Standards for Shop-Welded Oilfield Tanks

Regulatory Standards for Shop-Welded Oilfield Tanks

Regulatory Standards for Shop-Welded Oilfield TanksA shop-welded tank is designed and constructed as per the API Specification 12F. It is commonly used for storing crude oil, petroleum, and other liquids that are produced in the process of oil production. It usually represents welded shop-fabricated tanks made of steel. Read on to learn more about the oil production tanks and ABSA and AER’s standards.

Before we discuss the regulations, let’s look at the types of containment devices.

What are Containment Devices?

Containment devices are pieces of storage equipment such as process tanks and equipment, often used to store oil and petroleum products. They include the following:

  • Aboveground tanks, both single walled and double walled
  • Containers and pressurized vessels
  • Underground tanks
  • Lined earthen excavations
  • Bulk pads

Mandatory Regulations & Exceptions for Containment Devices

Both API and AER standards are applicable for containment devices. However, pipeline drip vessels and underground and aboveground pressurized vessels that are a part of an active production process do not fall within the scope of these standards. However, they must be duly registered with the Alberta Boilers Safety Association or the ABSA.

Storage Practices and Requirements for Oil Production Tanks

Any material produced or used by the upstream petroleum industry, including the shop-welded oilfield tanks, must adhere to the following safe storage practices:

  • Choose a storage site that helps to reduce environmental concerns.
  • Store materials properly to avoid extreme pressure, heat or explosions.
  • Conduct regular inspection and maintenance programs.
  • Have proper operations handbooks.

Storage Duration

The following rules regarding storage duration must also be followed:

  • Consume the materials within two years.
  • Minimize the stock of empty containers on site.
  • Do not store empty barrels and oilfield wastes for more than one year.

Spacing Requirements

Ensure the following as per the Oil and Gas Conservation Regulations:

  • No smoking within twenty-five meters of a separator, well, or oil storage tank.
  • Do not place heaters without flame arresters in the same building as the treaters unless you have vents or air intakes.
  • Place heaters and treaters with flame arresters at least 25 meters away from a separator, well, or oil storage tank.

Secondary Containment

Single-Walled Aboveground Tanks

Secondary containment is a control measure used to prevent hazardous leakages and spills. As per the AER’s Directive 055, a single-walled aboveground storage tank should have a secondary containment system. The secondary containment design typically consists of a dike and a durable and compatible liner. The dike is made of steel, soil, or concrete. This can help prevent leakage and protect the surrounding environment from any impact. The system is usually lined and graded to the collection area to ensure it meets the capacity requirement of a traditional diked system. In addition to this, the area within the system is graded to a low-lying area to allow the collection of snow-melt water, rainwater, and any leakage from the tanks. This way, uncontrolled discharge of untested fluids or collected fluids can be avoided.

Indoor Single-Walled Aboveground Tanks

Indoor aboveground storage tanks are designed to be surrounded by a containment device made from an impervious base, curbing or wall and a drain and collection tank.

We Offer Pressure Vessel Engineering and Fabrication Services

At Aspire Energy Resources Inc., we have over 25 years of experience in the manufacturing and fabrication of pressure vessels and process tanks and equipment. We ensure adherence to the standards of authorities such as the ABSA and the AER.

If you are looking for a shop-welded oilfield tank, flare knockout drum, or an oil production tank, call us at 403-314-5422 or 1-800-993-9958 to speak with one of our consultants.

Request a Project Discussion: 403-314-5422 or

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