This Day in History

This Day in History (1986): Crude Tank T&I Covers a Lot of Ground

The tanks in Ju’aymah are approximately the size of a football field – European or American.

This Day in History (1986): Crude Tank T&I Covers a Lot of Ground

From the June 4, 1986, edition of The Arabian Sun

Imagine the time and effort put into the upkeep of an area the size of a regulation football or soccer field, and you get just an inkling of the work required to conduct Test and Inspections (T&Is) on the world's largest crude oil storage tanks -- 1.1 million to 1.5-million-barrel capacity tanks located in the Ju'aymah and Ras Tanura Terminal tank farms.


"There is quite a bit of ground to cover," admits David Noorani, T&I supervisor with the Terminal Maintenance Services Division, noting that these tanks have diameters ranging from 335 to 385 feet (102-107 meters), literally the size of a football field.


A T&I -- conducted every 10 years on these storage tanks -- requires careful attention from tank top to bottom by Operations, Inspection, maintenance, Engineering, and contractor personnel over a period of four to eight months, beginning with the initial cleaning phase.


Thorough cleaning of the tank involves the removal of sludge -- scaly oil and water residue deposits. Recently, however, the Terminal Department figured out a way to really clean up, with a new "mixing" process that uses 50-horsepower "mixers" to recover salable crude from tank sludge.


The process involves draining the crude measuring the level of sludge and then installing the mixers into the tank man-way holes.


"From a foot of sludge, approximately 11 inches of oil can now be recovered," says Dan White, superintendent of Terminal Maintenance Services, explaining that the tank is refilled with crude, additives are mixed in, and the mixers are turned on and run for a week to blend the heavier sludge into the crude oil. The entire cycle is repeated two to three times, after which the water is drained from the crude by Operations, and the oil is shipped.


Caption for top photo: An impressive sight is this 1.25-million-barrel capacity crude tank at Ju'aymah, one of several Aramco tanks recently to have undergone a T&I.


Also on this date

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1996 The first flight of "Ariane 5" explodes after less than 40 seconds


1983 Gordon Kahl, who killed two U.S. Marshals in Medina, North Dakota on Feb. 13, is killed in a shootout in Smithville, Arkansas, along with a local sheriff, after a four-month manhunt


1977 JVC introduces its VHS videotape at the Consumer electronics Show in Chicago


1970 Tonga gains independence from the British Empire


1961 Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev sparks the Berlin Crisis by threatening to sign a separate peace treaty with East Germany and ending American, British, and French access to East Berlin


1941 Wilhelm II, German emperor, dies in exile in the Netherlands


1920 Hungary loses 71% of its territory and 63% of its population when the Treaty of Trianon is signed in Paris


1919 Leon Trotsky bans the Planned Fourth Regional Congress of Peasants, Workers and Insurgents


1913 Emily Davison, a suffragist, runs out in front of King George V's horse at the Derby and is trampled to death


1912 Massachusetts becomes the first state in the U.S. to set a minimum wage


1812 Following Louisiana’s admittance as a U.S. state, the Louisiana Territory is renamed the Missouri Territory


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