SEISMIC SLOSHING FAILURE HISTORY – EFR PETROLEUM STORAGE TANKS
1964 Anchorage Alaska Mw 9.2 Subduction Earthquake
First mention of the failure of external floating roof liquid storage tanks during an earthquake. A very powerful earthquake (4.5 min. of shaking) with a Tsunami caused by underwater landslides, major ground upheavals and subsidence. External Floating Roof (EFR) Tanks at the Valdez Union Oil Tank Farm failed by excessive sloshing starting a massive 14-Day Fire.
1. Rinne J E (1967) Oil Storage Tanks, Prince William Sound, Alaska Earthquake of 1964 and Aftershocks.
2. Hanson R D (1973) Behaviour of Liquid Storage Tanks, Great Alaska Earthquake 1964, Engineering NAS Vol 7 p 331-339.
1964 Niigata Japan Mw 7.5 Earthquake – Showa Oil Refinery
One 51m dia. X 14.6m high EFR Tank filled to capacity plus 3 more EFR Tanks failed under sloshing, overtopped the tank walls and ignited by the impact of the floating roof metal perimeter seals with the tank walls. The fire spread about 50m into the main refinery equipment plant, two LPG Tanks and electrical substation. One other EFR Tank failed by both sloshing and foundation liquefaction, breaking the piping connections and releasing more oil. The 14-Day Fire spread by burning oil into the adjacent residential area. Two hundred-eighty- six houses were destroyed by heat generated and the spreading fire. Oil containment walls also failed in the earthquake. One of the most serious seismic disasters to affect a chemical plant, kick-starting investigations into superior seismic designs for tanks, foundation designs to counter liquefaction and fire-rated supports of LPG Tanks and other equipment. The weakness of floating roof storage tanks against the sloshing phenomenon was now evident.
1. Case Details, Fire of Petroleum Tank, etc. by Niigata Earthquake.
1978 Miyagi-Ken-Oki Japan Mw 7.7 Earthquake – Sendai Refinery – Tohoku Oil Co.
The Refinery had approx. 87 storage tanks and was shut down for maintenance before the earthquake. Some of the storage tanks had been designed for a 0.30g peak ground acceleration with many others designed to reasonable seismic criteria. Three large tanks approx. 80% full of refined crude failed in the approximate 0.25g shaking, over-topping the containment dike, spreading through the refinery. Two of the failed tanks appear to be closed roof tanks with welds or steel plate failing at the base connection to side wall, releasing the full contents. The third failed tank appears to be an external floating roof tank (fig 6.43, third from left). Spilled oil inundated large areas of the refinery preventing the investigators access to verify tank types, sloshing levels in floating roof tanks, etc. No fire damage partly because all equipment was shut down for maintenance.
1. NBS Special Publication 592, An Investigation of Miyagi-ken-oki Japan Earthquake, 12 Jun 1978.
1983 Nihonkai-chubu Japan Mw 7.8 Earthquake – Akita Power Plant & Niigata Tank Farm
Huge 150m dia. x 20m high EFR Tank failed by sloshing in a long-period ground motion earthquake, igniting a seal ring fire at the perimeter of the floating roof. The fire burned for 2 hours including a combustible gas leak from the perimeter seal. Three other EFR tanks were damaged but did not ignite. This earthquake failure provided data of sloshing wave heights. In Niigata (220km away), the floating roofs on 2 large EFR Tanks ruptured due to sloshing, leaving oil exposed on top of the floating roof. However, the floating roofs did not sink and there wasn’t a fire.
1. Case Details, Fire of Outside Storage Tanks Caused by Sloshing in 1983 Sea of Japan Earthquake – Akita Power Plant.
1999 Kocaeli Turkey Mw 7.4 Earthquake – Tupras Refinery and Tank Farm – And Warnings that West Coast Pre1970 EFR Tanks Be Reviewed for Failure Under Current Code Seismic Loading Requirements
Six 1961 EFR Tank failures by excessive sloshing and the nearly catastrophic 5-Day fire are discussed in my Sep 2018 Report “How Does Kinder Morgan Reason the 1953 Tanks Aren’t a Seismic Risk”, submitted to the BC Engineering Association (EG BC) in Oct 2018. (Written before finding the reference to the 1961 Tupras tank seismic design code used to design the foundations and the 1961 tanks)
The Japan Society of Civil Engineers (JSCE) Reconnaissance Report and WCEE Reports noted that the Tupras EFR tanks failed by excessive sloshing, the vertical displacement at the tank wall ejecting contents over the tank walls or collecting on top of the floating roof. Sparks from the impact of the floating roof ignited the naphtha, starting the fire that damaged or destroyed a further 46 floating roof tanks (thermal deformation/fire damage). One IFR water storage tank failed by elephant-foot wall buckling.
See Reference 1, Section 2.1 Tupras Tank Fire and “Refinery Damage and Emergency Response in the 1999 Izmut (Kocaeli), Turkey Earthquake” for a full description of the response to the fire. The fire flames are visible on European Space Agency Landsat 5 images taken over Izmit Bay.
The investigations of the EFR tank failures was a major wake-up-call for the Oil Industry, especially the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Centre (PEERC) and other reports warning “there is a need to check the reliability of existing tank farms, especially those built before the (19)70s with the current codes of design.” Essentially, all pre1970s EFR tanks on the US West Coast be reviewed for excessive sloshing failure under current seismic code loading requirements. The warning also applied to the Trans Mountain Burnaby Terminal. Kinder Morgan Canada and their Structural Engineer for the design of the Burnaby Terminal failed to identify this possible serious seismic risk of the 6 1953 EFR tanks. Both the 2013 TMEP Application to the NEB and Appendix B2 Feb 2017 Report on the Updated Seismic Risk Assessment for the Burnaby Terminal didn’t even mention the seismic risk of the existing 1953 tanks.
For the continuation of my investigation report on EFR tank failures in the 1999 Kocaeli Earthquake see next section (Menu Tab) “1999 Tupras Tank Failure Warnings to Investigate Pre1970 EFRs” Kinder Morgan and their Structural Engineer not only ignore the post Kocaeli Earthquake Warnings to investigate pre1970 EFRs but also ignore the seismic risk of the 1953 EFR tanks in the Existing Tank Farm and in their Expanded TMEP Tank Farm (Appendix B2 Seismic Risk Assessment.)
PHOTOS OF EARTHQUAKE DAMAGE – TUPRAS REFINERY AND TANK FARM
1. Dunnet, G (2018) Report: “How Does Kinder Morgan Reason the 1953 Tanks Aren’t a Seismic Risk?”
2. Japan Society of Civil Engineers (JSCE) Kocaeli Earthquake Journal Report Vol 1 Chapter 07 (Damage to Industrial Facilities) pp 7.1 – 7.10.
3. Refinery Damage and Emergency Response in the 1999 Izmit, Turkey Earthquake by Gayle Johnson, Han-Padron Associates, Oakland, California, US.
2003 Tokachi-oki Japan Mw 8.0 Earthquake – Hokkaido Refinery
Large-amplitude long-period ground motions excited sloshing of tank contents, causing severe damage to oil storage tanks, two tank fires and 7 floating roofs sank to the tank bottom even though the refinery was 225 kms from the epicenter. Severe ring fire damage to one EFR tank brought under control in 7 hours (fire around perimeter of floating roof). A more severe full surface fire ignited in another EFR tank 2 days after the floating roof sank, despite efforts to spread fire foam over the naphtha exposed to the atmosphere. Fire started by an after-shock or sparking between the isolated foam and the tank wall and burned for 44 hrs. (foam didn’t cover full surface). Tank contents severe sloshing with waves rising 3 m on tank walls.
New legislation after the 2003 Tokachi-oki Earthquake: Japan ordered pontoons to be installed on all external and internal floating roofs to ensure resistance against oscillation of the floating roofs where large long-period ground motions (LPGM) is predicted – to prevent sinking of floating roofs, to prevent full surface tank fires.
1. Hatayama, Ken (2007) Report: Lessons from the 2003 Tokachi-oki, Japan, Earthquake for Prediction of Long-period Strong Ground Motions and Sloshing Damage to Oil Storage Tanks, J Seismoi (2008)
2. Zama, Nishi, Yamada & Hatayama, 14th WCEE 2008: Damage of Oil Storage Tanks Caused by Liquid Sloshing in the 2003 Tokachi-oki Earthquake and Revision of Design Spectra in the Long Period Range.
3. Natech Information for 2003 Tokachi-oki Earthquake Damage at the Hokkaido Refinery, Japan.
2011 TOHOKU JAPAN Mw 9.0 SUBDUCTION EARTHQUAKE OFF PACIFIC COAST
Damage to oil tanks classified into three types – by tsunami, long- period ground motions (LPGM) and short-period strong ground motions. The Tsunami moved and collapsed tanks, washed away tank foundations and destroyed containment dykes. The emergency shutdown valves on pipelines failed to operate due to power failure during the earthquake.
Long-Period Ground Motions excited liquid sloshing on Japan’s West Coast that caused floating roof pontoon failures in 1 EFR & 1 IFR tank and oil leakage onto the floating roofs. Less serious sloshing than the 2003 Tokachi-oki Earthquake and no tank fires.
Short-Period Strong Ground Motions on the Pacific Coast caused no tank damage.
1. On Damage of Oil Storage Tanks due to the 2011 off the P1acific Coast of Tohoku Earthquake (Mw9.0), Japan, proceedings of 2012 WCEE – Zamas, Nishi, Hatayama, Yamada, Yoshihara, Ogawa.
2. Sloshing Damage to Oil Storage Tanks due to Long-Period Strong Ground Motions during the 2011 Tohoku, Japan Earthquake
The failures of External Floating Roof Oil Storage Tanks in significant, greater than Mw7.0 and in serious subduction (greater than Mw8.0) earthquakes is a fact that Kinder Morgan’s Structural Engineer chose to ignore. The Structural Engineer chose to follow the Trans Mountain ‘no seismic upgrade policy’ ignoring EFR tank seismic failures by excessive sloshing – either ejecting tank contents over tank walls, onto top of floating roofs or damaging the roof so it sinks to the bottom. The Structural Engineer also ignored the serious petroleum fire risks when EFR tanks fail in earthquakes.
Kinder Morgan’s Structural Engineer also ignored the Warnings after the 1999 Kocaeli Earthquake to review all pre1970 EFR tanks in High Seisdmic Zones for excessive sloshing failure using Current Code Seismic Load Requirements.
And the third critical omission – to completely ignore the seismic risk of the 1953 Burnaby Tanks in the Existing Burnaby Terminal.
And the fourth critical error – to actually propose a three-fold increase of the storage capacity of the Terminal in the TMEP AND IGNORE THE POTENTIALLY SERIOUS FAILURE OF THE EXISTING 6 1953 EFR TANKS IN A SIGNIFICANT EARTHQUAKE.
HOW DOES A LARGE PIPELINE OPERATOR LIKE KINDER MORGAN JUSTIFY IGNORING EFR TANK SLOSHING FAILURES IN THEIR 2013 TMEP APPLICATION TO THE NEB AND IN 2017 APPENDIX B2 UPDATED SEISMIC RISK REPORT? HOW DO THEY IGNORE THE EFR TANK INTENSE FIRE RISK AND THE LIFE-SAFETY OF THE POPULATION RESIDING, AT SCHOOL OR UNIVERSITY AND WORKING NEAR THE TANK FARM?
Kinder Morgan’s Structural Engineer has demonstrated he or she isn’t qualified to practice as a structural engineer for the design of any modifications to an existing oil tank storage facility in a high seismic zone. He or she also demonstrates a complete disregard of an engineer’s duty on every project – to protect life-safety.