Preventing Accidents Through Fuel Tank Inspection and Maintenance

Fuel TankSafety is always the foremost concern when dealing with oil. There are serious dangers present when storing large quantities of it, such as unintended combustion and spills. A single mistake could cost many lives and massive damage to the environment.

To prevent such disasters from occurring, it is important to keep all storage tanks well maintained. All tanks must go through regular inspections, and have any issues repaired immediately. There are penalties and fees for not meeting industry standards for maintenance.

For above ground tanks measuring over 50 feet tall, the API 653 has detailed requirements for the inspection procedure. According to, an API 653 tank service must be carried out by a licensed and qualified party. It seeks to analyze the following components:

1. General information – The tanks’ general specifications, construction, and features.

2. Bottom, shell, and roof – Physical structure analysis, including thickness and corrosion.

3. Ground – How secure its position is, and whether the tank is tilting or settling wrong.

There are also various kinds of inspections, differing in their scope and recommended frequency. Owners are urged to do a basic check of the tank’s structure and systems every month, though certification is not necessary.

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For the more thorough inspections that must be carried out by a certified inspector, there are two types. An external inspection assesses the tank’s outside condition, without putting it out of service; this is required every five years. The shell’s thickness must be measured, and the inspector may also review previous inspection results.

Meanwhile, an internal inspection is the most thorough kind, and should be carried out at least once every ten years. This is a thorough analysis of the tank’s overall condition, and will determine how long it should still be kept in service.

Do you want to keep your oil tanks in good condition, and avoid incurring fines? If so, make sure that you have a detailed inspection schedule.