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Tank farm designing

EuroTankWorks carries out engineering design of tank farms of all categories, groups and types.

We professionally design:

  • transfer tank farms and storage plants, constructed for transferring products from one transport to another;
  • distribution tank farms, receiving products by marine and inland water transport, by railway or automobile transport with sequential shipment to customers (as a rule, by oil trucks and in small fillings);
  • oil stores;
  • oil-stock yards, constructed at the enterprise to store raw products and end products;
  • sea terminals, used to transfer petroleum products;
  • tank farms at pump plants of main product pipelines;
  • subsurface tank farms and storage plants, constructed in remote areas and receiving petroleum products by oil trucks or air transport;
  • underground fuel and lubricant storages.

We also elaborate project documentation and construction design documents for tank farm reconstruction, technical upgrading, re-equipment or enlargement.

While designing oil stores it is important to take into account their categorizing that is established by Regulations for tank farm technical maintenance (approved by the RF Department of Energy order N 232 as of 19 June, 2003).

Our project office also specializes in designing tank batteries.

Categorizing according to storage capacity

Category Total tankage capacity, m³ Maximum capacity of one tank, m³
I > 100,000 m³  
II 20,000 – 100,000 m³  
IIIа  10,000 – 20,000 m³  5’000
IIIб  2,000 – 10,000 m³  2’000
IIIв  < 2,000 m³  700

To determine the category of a storage plant or a tank farm according to their storage capacity only nominal volume of petroleum storage tanks is calculated, without considering service tanks, drain tanks, etc.

When tank farm design project is created, its category is vital, because it determines whether the tank farm will be considered an extremely hazardous industrial facility or not, according to the Building Code of Russia.

Tank farms also fall into 5 classes in terms of annual cargo turnover.

Class Annual cargo turnover, tons
1 > 500,000
2  100’000 - 500’000
3 50’000 - 100’000
4 20’000 - 50’000
5  < 20,000

Tank farm design project describes basic structural zones that constitute most oil product suppliers.

  1. Railway operations zone, where a technological complex is located for reception (and, in some cases, shipment) of petroleum products delivered by railway transport. The complex consists of railway lines, oil-handling elevated structure, supplementary equipment, instrumentation and automation system and control point.
  2. Water operations zone (for marine and inland water tank farms), with facilities for reception / shipment of petroleum products delivered by barges, tankers, and other water transport. It includes berthing structures, loading arms, pumping groups, coastline tank batteries, supplementary equipment, automatic equipment, and control point.
  3. Petroleum products storage zone, including a tank battery, pumping groups, pipeworks, and ridging.
  4. Working zone for oil release to customers. As a rule, oil product suppliers are equipped with a tank-truck loading complex and a small package filling department. During tank farm designing these zones are often equipped with quality control laboratories and packaging warehouses.
  5. Auxiliary facilities zone. It encompasses power stations, repair workshop warehouses, boiler houses, plumbing and fire-prevention facilities.
  6. Sewage facilities zone serves for cleaning water from oil-contaminated wastes.
  7. Administrative-and-household zone consists of personnel buildings, fire houses, guard stations, etc.

Tank farm construction site finding


Prior to oil stores designing, sites for their future disposition are chosen to geo-tag project design of the tank farm to certain location. It goes without saying that the site should have favorable position in terms of marketing and logistics. This means that proximity to customers, competitive environment, transport infrastructure of the area, accessibility and other factors should be taken into account.

It is important to consider the whole system of engineering requirements to choose the best possible site and avoid extra costs (both investment and maintenance).

The most general examples of such requirements are as follows:

  • Site surroundings check. Before the project launch it is necessary to make sure that there is required space between the site boundaries and the neighboring constructions.
  • Geological and groundwater conditions check. For example, it is possible to substantially reduce foundation engineering costs, especially under tanks, if the site is located on basement rocks that can sustain pressure up to 0.1 MPa. On the contrary, if the site is marshland or swamp, drainage works, damming, etc. will call for serious investments. The swamping can be underground, so it can’t be visually detected. And there are lots of such examples.
  • Hydrometeorological conditions check. We often observe that investors, who do not invite oil store design engineers to choose the site, face a lot of problems with fire and ecological safety later. For instance, the site should be located windward in relation to residential areas and industrial facilities, because petroleum vapors should not reach household or open-fire facilities. In order to prevent spread of fire during petroleum spillage, waterside tank farms should be located downstream from residential areas, hazardous locations, ferries and berths.
  • Energy security check. There should be electric power source and water supply source on the site or near it to provide for industrial and fire-prevention needs. The site should also have a convenient gutter for precipitation and sewage water for the safety of neighboring settlements. It is also an advantage to have works stores nearby.


Key sections of tank farm design project

Tank farm design project has an attached master layout that shows facilities location on the site. Master layout is compiled with regard to local relief, geological structure of the chosen territory, and climatic features. During design project works petroleum products classification is taken into consideration, along with fire-preventing conditions, facility infrastructure, and many other factors. At this stage of project designing topographic base is used primarily, that is a location plan with railway lines, highways and communications, external water supply and power supply systems. The site plan contains wind patterns and coordinate grids. This plan helps connect the tank farm with all transport routes and networks of the territory. Dead-end tracks should be made with correct radius and slope grade and connect with main tracks in the most convenient places.

When the networks are connected, structures are located in the seven zones. The operational zone is usually located close to the entrance for quick access. Because the storage zone is considered the most dangerous, it is located farthest and separated with limited access. Auxiliary facilities zone is also considered dangerous because of fire use, so it is also separated. Sewage facilities zone should be located in subdued relief to dump extra precipitation and industrial waste water into an oil trap. Pipelines and technological networks are planned in maximal proximity to facilities. Facilities in the tank farm zones are located according to cardinal and wind direction. This means that hazardous locations (like boiler houses) are placed aside, so that the wind would blow the sparks away from industrial zones, tank batteries and barreling stations.

After horizontal planning of the territory facilities are located on the plan. They are given coordinates of one of the angles and their dimensions are marked. Vertical planning of the tank farm territory should meet the following requirements:

  • Gravity flow for railroad tank cars loading operations should be provided.
  • Pipelines on the tank farm territory shouldn’t have bends.
  • Conditions for good sucking of the pump group should be provided.

When the master layout is ready, designing of the piping system of the tank farm begins, which will later be used as grounds for the pipeline hydraulic calculations.

The next stage of oil store designing is working out the technological system. This is a scheme of oil pipeline network. To compile this scheme it is important to know the order and the amount of acceptance and supply operations, as well as the list of stored products. The necessity of oil products transit between tanks inside the tank farm is also taken into consideration.

Then, the Technological Scheme is included into the Master Layout to form the Technological Plan. On this plan separate alignment sheets are compiled, where ground lines and pipeline location are marked. Pumping groups and wells, ground elevation and alignment points are also shown in the sheets. Alignment points are also marked by benchmarks every 100 meters and by posts every kilometer. Calculated pipeline pitch is maintained in the preset parameter.

The sheets are the basis for the amount of earthwork calculation, along with the calculation of oil product residues in the tank. It is also possible to find out if there are any pockets that block the oil product passage along the pipes.

Fire safety and ecology protection play important role in tank farm design project. For these purposes climatic conditions are considered, along with the location of the tank farm in relation to proximity of the city and water sources. Depending on the wind pattern, living quarter and production facilities of the tank farm are located downwind to prevent fire hazard. Tank farm design project is made in compliance with all ecological requirements. Pollutant emission is calculated, based on the amount and type of stored oil products, as well as other factors. Licenses are obtained on the basis of this data with regard to emission status.

Full contents of tank farm design project

RF Government Regulation N87 as of February 16, 2008 “Of project documentation paragraphs structure and their content requirements” is the key document for tank farm engineering design.

The number of paragraphs of the design project may be different depending on the categorizing of the future facility and on the works to be carried out (tank farm reconstruction, technical upgrading or new construction). To pass the Glavgosexpertiza examination, the design project should contain all the 12 paragraphs, provided by the Regulation. If the examination is carried out by the Health, Safety and Environment Department, the number of paragraphs can be reduced as set forth in the Urban Development Code.

Reference data for the design of industrial plants for your region