Risk Engineering Position Paper: Atmospheric Storage Tanks

There have been numerous incidents in the oil, gas and petrochemical industry involving atmospheric storage tanks. Data has been compiled by a reputable operator in the USA that indicate that overfilling of atmospheric storage tanks occurs once in every 3300 filling operations. In 2009 there were two separate incidents just days apart, one in Jaipur, India (October 29) and one in San Juan, Puerto Rico (October 23) that demonstrated the destructive capabilities of incidents at terminals and tank farms.

The Buncefield incident in the UK in December 2005 resulted in an independent investigation commissioned by the Health and Safety Commission in the UK. As a result of this, more guidance has been provided to designers and operators of facilities. Such guidance has been included within this position paper.