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Top Trends Affecting the Tank Storage Industry

The storage tank industry is perpetually changing, with new trends continuously appearing and shaping it into what it is now and what it will be in the future. Here, we have put together a short list of those trends as described by some of the best and the brightest in the industry. They are professionals from a variety of backgrounds within the storage tank industry, discussing such concerns as how the high demand for fuel storage is affecting the quality of the containers. They speculate on the consequences of moving the market into Asia. A more fascinating trend is the recent conversion of failing refineries into more modern, and much more profitable, storage terminals. Daniel Classens from the Verwater Group tells us what to expect from the current price fluctuations that have been occurring with bulk materials. Stefan Von Woenzel lays out for us unexpected changes in the industry due to USA’s sudden self-sufficiency. Each of these new trends will undoubtedly affect the market. How they will affect it is discussed here. This is just a taste of what’s been happening in the storage tank industry. Feel free to comment on these or add a few more of your own to the discussion(photo by dsearls).

Tony Quinn, CEO Tankbank international and Founder Tankbank.com and Tankchat.com
“In general the trends for discussion are as follows:-

1 is the enormous appetite for fuel storage affecting the availability of quality chemical tanks?

2 the European and US storage markets are flat and relatively mature now we are starting to see availability opening in s.e Asia for the first time in 10 years and there is still 10million m3 planned to be build – are we killing the golden goose?

3. The investment funds are back in the market for the first time since the GEC – expect changes in ownership – how will the Financial owners deal with potential decline in returns over the next 5/10 years

4. Oil traders are selling owned storage to NOC’s and other major investors – does this signal enough capacity in the market or that they believe the market for storage has peaked”

Ms Sharé Mason, International Sales & Marketing Manager: StocExpo & Tank Storage Events
In Asia there is a growing trend to take advantage of rock caverns which are being converted underground storage facilities. http://www.tankterminals.com/news_detail.php?id=342

The middle East, especially Fujairah, is seeing rapid growth http://www.steelguru.com/middle_east_news/Fujairah_oil_storage_capacity_to_rise_by_2_MCM/301659.html

Across the world there is a growing trend to convert failing refineries in to profitable storage terminals http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvJbgqozYe4&feature=youtu.be

A number of terminal operators are going in to joint ventures or acquiring existing terminals as they develop their portfolios http://tankstoragemag.com/industry_news.php?item_id=5985

Curtis Stewart, Construction Rep at Chevron USA (Swift)
“What I see as a trend is tank owners needing to be flexable in what products can be stored in their tanks. Due to the way the storage companies (MLP’s) are structured, they have to be able to utilize their assets. While there will always be tanks with dedicated service, the flexability of stored products allow the tank owner to maximize the revenue generation of the tank asset.

I also see movement in the upstream companies to get away from the Run to Failure mindset with the 12 series tanks. If the regulators ever get serious about the leaks from the production storage tanks, there will be an explosion of requested services for tank cleaning, inspection and repairs. The tank inspection companies will have to get away from their 3 and 4 member inspeciton teams to 1 inspector with a third party hole watch. These inspectors will have to understand the difference between the requriements of 12R1 and 653.

While API has taken up integrating 12D,F and R1 into 653, there has not been much movement on doing this. I feel this will change when the thunder comes down from the regulators. And I feel there will be a lot of pushback from the upstream tank owners as they realize the days of Run to Failure are over and leaking tanks are no longer acceptable. They will have to be proactave to prevent loss of containment. The tank owners will need to decide if these tanks will be repaired or replaced. Sometimes the replacement cost is less than the repair cost, IF you can get the replacement tanks. There is a tremendous demand for 12 series tanks now due to the explosion in E&P the last few years and some tank manufacturers are months behind. Put regulatory pressure to clean and inspect a bunch of tanks that have not had any service for years with owners who believe in Run to Failure, the demand for new tanks and repair services will be heavy.
To prevent corrosion of these tanks the owners will need to be diligent when the facilities are set up and to provide proper corrosion protection to the tanks. This will increase pressure on coating companies to provide properly trained and equiped crews to install these coatings. Many of these in high H2S environments.”

Daniel Claessens, Division manager Engineering – Verwater Group
“I’ll think it would be energy and typical trading trends, the expected (statistical trends) price fluctuations of bulk materials, handling etc. In extra some strategic measurements i.e. APETRA and/or some strategic places i.e. for fuel oil bunkering (to remove floating storage) and/or colocation of raw materials for production plants but subcontracted to terminals and/or storing and handling of waste materials i.e. Marine oils etc. And of coarse gas handling etc…”

Vikram Singh Rajpurohit, FRP Piping & Tanks Specialist
“The rapid advances in technologies in various fields have also recorded significant progress in the field of tank industry. Though the basic methods of protection of materials like use of corrosion-resistant materials, application of surface coatings and cathodic protection have largely remained the same, the approaches and techniques adopted in each of these fields have been so advanced that one could today advocate appropriate protection systems with high reliability and performance.”

Jan_Knappert, DR Sthamer – Hamburg
“Legislation driving environmentally compatible products with superior performance in Fire Fighting.”

Stefan Van Woenzel, Author of The Oil Traders’ Word(s)
I think the big change in the oil industry at the logistic side is the change of global oil flows since USA is getting more self-sufficient on oil supplies. They are not importing that much anymore as they use to do. I think everybody in the oil industry sees this.

Michael Polsin, Northeast Region Manager (USA/Canada) CST Storage
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Paul Nix, General manager Storage bulk liquids
Well one of the trends is blending of products on specification because of the different legaslation in the different countries and regions.

Another would be “Stench control”, more and more living quarters are moving closer to industry and people start complaining about stench. There is yet not a lot methods developed for this “stench control”.

Mantrala Sastry, Ex Shift Supervisor at QATAR GAS
“crude tanks sludge formation cleaning&disposal of the sludge nearly 20+ years settled sludge it took us more than a year—-environment issues in dumping etc,is worth discussing”

Lance Berry, President & General Manager at Rosemount Tank Gauging – N.A.
“A current trend in the industry is the adoption of the new API2350 overfill standard. Rosemount Tank Gauging is well position to assist any site in their assessment, gap analysis and implementation of this new standard. www.api-2350.com

Another trend that is emerging in tank farms is a growing concern over the floating roof in floating roof type tanks. Today this is commonly overlooked and is a maintenance problem, but more importantly a safety concern. The first action should be to find out its behavior, and then take necessary actions. A best practice for the future is to have online monitoring of the inclination of the roof, at a minimum with sensors.”
 

TNphoto Tatsuya Nakagawa
Tatsuya Nakagawa is the VP of Marketing and co-founder of Castagra Products, a storage tank and wastewater coatings manufacturing company that is highly acclaimed for its sustainable coatings, cold weather tank coating applications, and its durable frac tank coatings. Castagra is used by the world’s top oil and gas field services companies.