As a vital part of the petroleum and oil industry, tank farms provide safe and convenient storage for liquid petrochemicals. These facilities consist of any number of either underground (USTs) or aboveground (AGSTs) metallic tank structures and are traditionally located in close proximity to oil refineries or near harbors where marine ships and tankers can take on or discharge their product.

Most tank farms also contain an intricate pipeline system that connects the metal storage tanks to rail, barge and road tankers. Tank storage of crude, petroleum, chemicals and other liquids provides a vital intermediary between production and transportation.

Corrosion is the leading cause of premature failure in both underground and aboveground metallic tank structures. When unprotected, carbon steel and other metals will naturally break down electrochemically which will ultimately lead to failure. Protecting these important assets is especially crucial at tank farms, where a failure in one structure can have a catastrophic effect throughout the facility.  Impressed current systems and vapor corrosion inhibitors are the most common methods for protecting these assets. Cathodic protection (CP) systems are one of the most common ways to prevent corrosion and extend the life of liquid petroleum storage tanks.

When designing a cathodic protection system for a Tank Farm application, it is important to take environmental conditions and the structure to be protected into account. For example, the underside of above ground tanks often experience corrosion from the surrounding soil and from electrical interactions with nearby infrastructures, such as power transmission lines and impressed currents that are used to protect buried pipelines.

Even with the application of Cathodic Protection (CP) to UST and AGST tank storage assets, corrosion still costs the industry several tens of millions of dollars annually. The financial impact of a typical unscheduled tank outage are primarily due to loss of available production storage, UT scanning and repair costs ranging from $45,000/day up to several million dollars or more when complete shutdowns occur, and the high cost of replacing tank floors. This is excluding any environmental and/or non-compliance fines that are likely to occur with a failure of this kind.

The Solution: Effective Cathodic Protection
and Asset Integrity Remote Monitoring

Remote monitoring of corrosion and pipeline sensors leverages the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) in any location to deliver a platform with near real-time collection, analysis, and collaboration tools. MOBILTEX remote monitoring platform solutions enable our clients to easily and effectively realize higher safety and operational efficiencies, transformational digital capabilities, and increased infrastructure integrity.

This is effectively achieved through:

  • Being able to quickly identify and assess aversive operational conditions and/or corrosion damage occurring – before it becomes widespread and disruptive.
  • Ensuring remote cathodic protection systems are always operating in the optimal range for asset protection, and pipeline integrity sensors are accurately capturing valuable data, in even the most challenging locations or environments
  • Streamlining data gathering, inspection and reporting for regulatory compliance – and delivering advanced analysis for trending and identifying issues before they occur
  • Eliminating the extremely high-cost and safety risks associated with in-field inspection, particularly in remote or difficult to access locations

Learn more about our solutions

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