Contact US

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

oil storage tank foundation design

oil storage tank foundation design

oil storage tank foundation design

Could someone give me a source where I could find a good reference for designing a tank foundation per API 650. This publication give only guidelines and recommendations but no examples are given specially in regards to the seismic loading on foundation. I read somewhere in one of the threads that there is an article written by a certain Irving Boberg. Any idea where the source is. Thanks in advance for any help.

RE: oil storage tank foundation design

I'm interested in the same information.  If you received any good input, I would appreciate hearing from you.

RE: oil storage tank foundation design

How will the tank be supported?

1. Saddles
2. Columns
3. Uniform and level (bottom in full contact with foundation)

If you can elaborate, I have several ways to do the design.

RE: oil storage tank foundation design

The tank will be supported uniform and level.  These are large capacity crude tanks of 150 to 200 feet in diameter by 50 to 60 feet tall.  The problem is that the location soil is weak.  As I understand it, these tanks are normally supported on a pad of asphalt with the perimeter only supported on a ringwall.  Some settlement is anticipated and compensated for.  In poor soil, however, a different design is called for, it seems to me.
Any recommendations?

RE: oil storage tank foundation design

Back in the late 70s early 80s, there were a number of good papers about large dia steel storage tanks.  We have installed several in areas where the soils are only "firm" - i.e., Su about 750psf (okay - 38 kPa). In construction, we used the "proof loading" for monitoring settlments, tilts, etc.  Slope indicators for any lateral squeeze, etc.

Unfortunately, I have all my references on the subject in storage - but Bjerrum wrote a good paper about edge failure of a large dia storage tank - London ISSMFE conference.  If you want it, let me know an e-mail through thread and I will forward a copy of it to you.  

For any good discussion - please advise the following:

soil stratigraphy and relevant soil properties (Atterberg limits, undrained shear strength, effective strenght parameters, consolidation data, sensitivity, etc).

Size of tank, height of tank, nature of liquid (specific gravity).  

Nearby problems (e.g., pipelines, slopes, etc.) - but for a tank this size, it should be on level ground for you will need a large containment area with berms.  They present their own problem to ensure low permeability.  

RE: oil storage tank foundation design


Will it be possible to e-mail the copy of the paper to me also?  My e-mail address is


Best regards


RE: oil storage tank foundation design

am: within the next day or two.  

RE: oil storage tank foundation design

BigH  Yes, I'd be very interested in the report.  Please email to ees@kingwoodcable.net

RE: oil storage tank foundation design


It is Irving Boberg's paper "Oil Tank Foundations", dated 1951!   It only addresses gravity loads.
I believe Boberg was the chief engineer of Chicago Bridge and Iron at that time.



RE: oil storage tank foundation design

I'm still trying to find my files on that Bjerrum paper - keep the faith!!

RE: oil storage tank foundation design

BigH -

What was the date of the London ISSMFE conference, or the number?  I have quite a few of the volumes in my personal library - I'll see if I have it if you can give me an approximate citation.

Please see FAQ731-376  by VPL for tips on how to make the best use of Eng-Tips Fora.

RE: oil storage tank foundation design

I think it was '56.  I found my electronic files on this - I'll send it to you. Anyone, else, see my offer above!  I was very lucky in that when I left the VCR office, they gave me the first 5 or 6 conference proceedings to ISSMFE. There really are some good papers in those conferences.  I especially like the state of art paper in 69 Mexico.

RE: oil storage tank foundation design

It was 1957.  Three blue volumes - I have them.  Don't worry about emailing it - just give me the citation for now.  Thanks!

Please see FAQ731-376  by VPL for tips on how to make the best use of Eng-Tips Fora.

RE: oil storage tank foundation design

There was an article published by ASME in 1980 entitled "Simplified Procedures for Estimating Settlement and Bearing Capacity of Ringwall Footings on Sand" (80-C2/PVP-64) that you may be interested in (my copy is poor).  The authors were J.M. Duncan, P.C. Lucia, and R.A. Bell.

Also, don't neglect Appendix E of API 650, and handbooks like Gaylord & Gaylord explain how to design reinforcing for the ringwall.

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login


Low-Volume Rapid Injection Molding With 3D Printed Molds
Learn methods and guidelines for using stereolithography (SLA) 3D printed molds in the injection molding process to lower costs and lead time. Discover how this hybrid manufacturing process enables on-demand mold fabrication to quickly produce small batches of thermoplastic parts. Download Now
Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM)
Examine how the principles of DfAM upend many of the long-standing rules around manufacturability - allowing engineers and designers to place a part’s function at the center of their design considerations. Download Now
Taking Control of Engineering Documents
This ebook covers tips for creating and managing workflows, security best practices and protection of intellectual property, Cloud vs. on-premise software solutions, CAD file management, compliance, and more. Download Now

Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close