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leakage from the floating roof of a million BBL tank Helpful Member!(3) 

eayamha (Mechanical)
17 Jan 13 14:53
We have a problem in one of our storage floating roof, double deck, tanks. There is a leak from 2 of the pantoon compartments. We measured the oil level inside the leaking compartments and it was 9” and 14” in the two compartments while the floating roof was at 35 feet.
I need your advice on what you think would be th emain cause of this leakage and how to mitigate such a defect. is it also safe to keep the tank in operation in this condition without any risk of the roof.
Helpful Member!  fegenbush (Mechanical)
17 Jan 13 15:09
Are the two pontoons which are leaking adjacent to one another? Appendix C of API 650 requires that the design of the roof be such that it can withstand a leak in any two adjacent pontoons. However, this design condition is independent of water or live load. If the pontoons are adjacent, you have a tank with no redundancy. I would investigate repair options quickly.

As for repair, API 653 requires that leaks in pontoons be repaired by rewelding of the leaking joints and/or patch plates.
Helpful Member!  IFRs (Petroleum)
17 Jan 13 22:06
The leakage could be from corrosion - how old is it? You could put plastic balls or air bags in the pontoons to take up space and keep it from getting too much worse. It should be fixed quickly though as it could be an indication that other similar failures are imminent.
eayamha (Mechanical)
18 Jan 13 4:47
The tank was constructed on 1992 but it's under scheduled refurbishment. Last one was done on 2007 and the leakage is in two adjacent potoons yes.
Helpful Member!  TD2K (Chemical)
18 Jan 13 17:56
I think we could guess all day but until you have a chance to look at the pontoons, it will be just guessing
Duwe6 (Industrial)
22 Jan 13 15:43
"You could put plastic balls or air bags in the pontoons to take up space and keep it from getting too much worse. It should be fixed quickly though as it could be an indication that other similar failures are imminent."

Twoadjacent pontoons leaking -- ya think that it may be time to do something other than "watchful waiting"? Suck out the wet compartments and airbag them ASAP. Refloating roofs is no fun. And keep a very close watch on ALL the compartments. They were made by the same company, at the same time, using the same materials. Expect similar results.

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