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Dr Oleg Sukovoy, SPS Senior Design Engineer, was recently featured in Tanks and Terminals magazine in which he discusses the value of composite repairs, such as our steel-elastomer-steel composite (SPS), in enabling a fast and permanent steel repair solution on storage tanks with no hot work needed and no time out of service.

Extend the lives of offshore storage with SPS composites

In recent months it has become commonplace to say that COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on global industry, with the oil market among those left grappling with the most acute challenges. The sudden and deep drop in demand and price following the outset of the pandemic and the untimely Saudi-Russia price war resulted in historic market shocks. Most devastatingly, in April 2020, the WTI oil price fell below zero, with negative index in the WTI futures.

The circumstances tested tank storage capacity in a way almost never seen before, with some producers paying up to US$40/bbl for their product to be taken into storage. Indeed, at the time, storage was in such short demand that previously unthinkable concepts were placed on the table as genuine solutions to the problem. For example, on 11 May, the Wall Street Journal reported that “would-be investors were looking to stock it away in giant pools, caves or anywhere else.”1 Dr Oleg Sukovoy, SPS Technology, UK, champions the use of composite repairs to extend the lives of storage tanks. Reprinted from Autumn 2020 19 While the worst-case scenario of overwhelmed storage capacity did not become a reality, the oil amassed in storage remains substantial – meaning owners of aboveground storage tanks must continue to respond with measures to manage the crisis.

Critically, this includes taking steps to ensure the smooth operation of their facilities for uninterrupted supply. The continued demand pressures make any shutdown of assets for essential maintenance acutely undesirable, with owners looking to avoid time out of service for these facilities.

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