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Understanding the API 653 Standards and Regulation

API 653Like any other structure, regular inspection and maintenance is important to prolong and get the most out of storage tanks. This makes sure that the liquids inside them don’t leak and affect its surroundings, especially bodies of water that might spread them to other areas. Failure to comply with the necessary inspections can be a problem to any business.

What is API 653 and Why is it Important?

API 653 is a standard created by the American Petroleum Institute (API), the only national trade association in the U.S. that represents every aspect of the oil and natural gas industry, after many above ground storage tanks failed in the late 1980s. These incidents affected the country economically and environmentally, prompting action from officials to prevent further failures from happening. This later became an international standard that many countries around the world follow.

Heartlandtankservices.com noted that the API Standard 650 is the counterpart of API 653 for the inspection of above ground storage tanks. Both are important to make sure that builders and owners provide the best possible liquid storage for clients.

What is Off-Stream and On-Stream Inspection?

An off-stream inspection is a requirement every 10 years. It has five types — the Ultrasonic Thickness Testing (UTT) Inspection, Internal and External Visual Inspection (VT), Magnetic Flux Leakage (MFL) Inspection, Vacuum Box Testing (from the floor plate to the shell weld), and Settlement Survey. An on-stream inspection, on the other hand, is a requirement every five years. This involves a Visual and UTT Inspection of the external shell, roof, and nozzles.

An additional inspection might be necessary depending on the results of both initial tests. Inspectors will write a final report that shows the inspection results and recommendations, including the remaining lifespan calculation and corrosion rates.

Understanding the standards set by the API is important to make sure that no tragic incidents will take place that could cost you money and give you a negative reputation.

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