Essentially, oil storage terminals are storage facilities for oil and petrochemical products. These facilities may be owned by a single company or a consortium, where a group of companies works together to operate and manage the facility. These companies may share operational costs, as well as knowledge and expertise.
They serve as essential components of the global crude oil logistics chain:
Oil storage terminals serve as essential components of the global crude oil logistics chain. Without these facilities, the oil industry would be far less efficient. They store end products, such as crude oil and refined petroleum products, while also allowing for the continuous supply of feedstock to chemical plants. They also provide revenue-generating ancillary services.
They may consist of several different tanks:
A storage terminal may consist of several different tanks. Some tanks may be dome-shaped, while others are cylindrical or conical. Some of these tanks are fitted with internal floating roofs, which reduce evaporation. Others are fixed roof tanks, which have a permanently fixed roof. Regardless of the type of storage tank, there are several regulations and requirements related to the operation of the facility.
They may be subject to health and safety standards:
An oil storage terminal may be subject to health and safety standards as well as local and federal environmental laws. The facility may also be subject to international laws. If a spill occurs at the facility, it must be contained and cleaned up promptly. Oil terminals must also be equipped to deal with spilled materials and contain any leaks.
They may also be used to perform blending services:
In addition to storage, oil terminals may also be used to perform blending services. This includes blending raw materials into the final petroleum product, as well as heating the product to improve its flow characteristics. In some cases, additives may also be blended at the terminal location.
Although most of the terminals are automated, there are still some manual processes involved in the operation. These include the use of pumps to pump crude oil out of holds and into terminals. Some terminals may also be equipped with docks for loading barges. Other components include a control room, where valves are operated from. In addition, there may also be a station for receiving transfer trucks. The control room is also the driver of the facility, as it initiates appropriate actions.