Tank Cleaning Crude Oil Storage

Project Overview

 Tank Size  240 ft. (73 m) diameter
Tank Design External floating roof
Service Vacuum residue
Sludge Volume 16,200 barrels (2,575 m3)
 % Oil Removed  94.8%
Time Required 6 weeks

Results Achieved

Recovered hydrocarbon liquids provided $400,000 in unexpected revenue

Contaminated soil reduced from >51,000 ppm total petroleum hydrocarbon to less than 1,000 ppm

Chemical profiles


Rapid absorption of vapor-state hydrocarbons in an innovative encapsulant for effective decontamination and degassing of hydrocarbon processing equipment.

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Created for the dissolution and recovery of asphaltenes in process equipment, pipelines and storage tanks.

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Effective in the mitigation and removal of hydrocarbon contaminated soils. Will eliminate upwards of 75% of hydrocarbon contamination within 72 hours of application.

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Crude Oil Tank Cleaning

A large Gulf Coast petroleum refining company in the United States had a floating roof tank that required cleaning.


This tank was in heavy, crude service with a heavy paraffin content sludge on the bottom. A serpentine heater coil system had been previously fitted in the tank, and was non-functional due to corrosion. Additionally, the floor was also expected to be damaged and leaking. The company had previously cleaned a sister tank of similar size and debris/sludge volume by cutting access doors in the tank shell and excavating the sludge from the vessel with backhoe equipment, which damaged the tank floor. The solids were disposed by incineration at a fee of $400 per ton. Approximately 3,000 tons of crude solids was expected.


In this case the debris removal was completed with side-mounted circulation tools that carried a proprietary product chemical package (FQE™ Solvent-H) and cutter stock to facilitate the dissolution of the recoverable solids. Over 94% of the available oil and diluent volume was salvaged as recoverable hydrocarbon. The tank was then treated with FQE™ LEL-V degassing product, leaving it clean and vapor free. The recovered hydrocarbon liquids were sold as marine diesel fuel for $28.00 per barrel, giving the client over $400,000 of unexpected revenue.


The soil surrounding the tank was contaminated by hydrocarbon liquids (>51,000 ppm total petroleum hydrocarbon) from the damaged floor. The soil was treated with FQE™ Clean Earth chemical to facilitate remediation. Following this treatment, the soil was tilled. After three weeks of follow-up, the contaminated soil TPH was less than 1,000 ppm.

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