By February 18, 2015 Read More →

EnviroVault: Innovative oil storage tanks stop leaks

EnviroVault’s innovation is to place recessed chambers inside oil storage tanks

Leaky oil storage tanks are a problem in the Canadian energy industry. EnviroVault of Calgary has a solution that stops spills, saves money, and improves onsite security.

oil storage tanks

The EnviroVault solution is simple: Place a recessed chamber inside the storage tank. Basically, creating a warm sealed off area within a tank.

All valves are located inside the oil storage tanks instead of outside, where they can freeze or be struck and damaged, eventually leaking.

“We’re always looking at how to make things safer, smarter, and more environmentally-friendly,” says Mike Nielsen, EnviroVault’s VP of operations. “Taking the stuff that’s on the outside of the tank and putting it on the inside, in the majority of the cases, is the best way to do it.”

What causes a storage tank to leak? You might think it would be problems with tank integrity, like a rusted out seam or a malfunctioning valve.

But research shows that leaks mostly happen during operation and handling. Transferring fluid into and out of the tank – broken couplers, leaky gaskets, human error, etc. – are the biggest culprits of spills and the containment and remediation headaches they cause.

oil storage tanks

The EnviroVault design keeps everything inside. If there is a leak, it can be easily cleaned up at minimal cost.

Once oil and gas producers switch to EnviroVault, they never go back. There are over 28,000 vault-equipped tanks in service across western Canada, and more recently, in the U.S.

“The operators that use them love them,” says Nielsen. “The products sell themselves once they’re in the field.”

But protecting the environment from spills is the not the only benefit of the EnviroVault line of oil storage tanks.

Since its creation in 1996, EnvironVault has evolved beyond the original “recess chamber inside a storage tank” concept.

EnviroVault thinks of itself as a solutions-provider. Company employees are always talking to customers in the field, discovering the issues that cause operating problems and drive up expenses, then coming up with a solution.

oil storage tanks

“Everything that we do here at EnviroVault is patented in some way,” says Nielsen. “Innovation is part of our company philosophy, it’s in our corporate DNA.

EnviroVault innovations that have been turned into problem-solving products include:

Bolt-in: An EnviroVault that can be installed into an existing tank in the field – without any welding. This is a particularly safe, efficient and cost effective alternative  upgrading existing fire tube-burner management systems.

“In 2015, in order to comply with new regulations, oil and gas companies will need to spend money on their firetube-equipped tanks. This will be in the form of an upgraded burner management system or for a fraction of the price, they can use the EnviroVault Bolt-In,” said Nielsen.

ThermoVault: Fire tubes are replaced by flameless catalytic heaters which are safe to use for light oil tank treating. The process fluid is heated, which causes the oil and water to separate. ThermoVault has an overall efficiency comparable to a 250,000 BTU/hr. fire tube burner. Other benefits include reduced operating costs, enhanced environmental stewardship, and lower transportation costs.

“Customers can take ‘pipeline grade oil’ directly out of their sales tank,” said Nielsen. “The ThermoVault allows them to separate the process fluid right on their own site versus having to send it somewhere else to be treated.”

ScrubberVault: Low pressure vent gas scrubber mounted inside an above ground storage tank.  Eliminates odour and back pressure to the tank in cold climates, reduces environmental impact, and improves the efficiency of operations in hazardous conditions. Other benefits include minimal maintenance and lower operating costs.

DuoVault: Allow oil and gas producers to comply with Directive 055 without the need for additional secondary containment. All valves and related piping, including the high level shut down switch are contained in a freeze and spill-protected area. The DuoVault also features multiple overfill protection devices  and a breached secondary containment shutdown. Without the need for berm/dyke system ,operators and truckers never need to enter a confined space area, and from a cost perspective, the DuoVault tank eliminates berm installation and removal cost each time the tank is moved.

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