Retrofitting Oil Storage Tank to Skimmer

Table of Contents

Type / Description

  • Mechanical integrity issues demanded urgent intervention of the existing skimmer tank
  • A large existing storage tank (150,446 bbl) needed to be repurposed and retrofitted with skimmer internals to provide a treatment capacity of up to
    320,000 BPD


  • Fast track project: retrofit should be implemented during ongoing plant turnaround
  • Tank volume, Ø and height were not optimal for the process
  • Internals should be adapted to available geometry and simplified to minimize intervention and impact on tank walls
  • Manage large and fluctuating flowrates (200,000 – 320,000 bbl/d)
  • Address vapor and produced solids in a single unit
  • Proven technology was required for heavy crude oil applications

Project Development

  • Proven high throughput double-spreader skimmer design was adapted to fit tank geometry
  • Mechanical structure design with self-supported internals to avoid structural modification of the walls and roof of the tank
  • Vapor and solids management features embedded to minimize the
    impact on liquid-liquid separation
  • CFD model developed for concept validation
  • Alternative minimalistic innovative models designed to enhance vapor and solids management


  • The whole project from concept design to detailed engineering and CFD modeling was completed on a very tight schedule
  • Performance and schedule requirements were fulfilled. Impact on tank structure was minimized and gas and solids management capabilities were successfully provided

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