DSDE Article Detail Page Robots Can Make Tank Inspections Safer and Cheaper

Stephen Whitfield, Senior

SPE.org 

With demand for oil increasing and demand for refined-product storage within the midstream sector also increasing, operational reliability and uptime have become a greater priority for the owners and users of terminals and tank farms. The industry sees value in optimizing tank turnaround schedules and extending tank in-service intervals by predicting and avoiding failures while reducing the health, safety, and environmental risks associated with waste removal and human exposure. Robotic applications have developed to the point where they can help improve the reliability, safety, and costs of tank storage. Getting companies on board with robotics is not an issue, but finding the right in-service tank-inspection approaches for robotic applications is. Rengifo spoke at a panel discussion during the American Petroleum Institute Inspection and Mechanical Integrity Summit that focused on ways in which owners and users can incorporate robotics into their tank-integrity programs, as well as the obstacles they and other vendors face in facilitating robotics.