The Site Investigations of the Tupras Refinery 1961 EFR tank failures in the 1999 Kocaeli Earthquake and near catastrophic fire 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. This warning applied to the Trans Mountain Burnaby Terminal 1953 EFR tanks. 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) Updated Seismic Risk Assessment for the Burnaby Terminal didn’t even mention the seismic risk of the existing 1953 tanks.
TUPRAS 1961 EFR TANKS DESIGNED FOR SEISMIC
A new fact I wasn’t aware of for my 2018 Report, the Japan Society of Civil Engineers (JSCE) Report Section 7.1 Tupras Refinery, revealed that the 1961 Tupras tanks were designed by California Engineers to California Seismic Design Code(*1) requirements. (Ref 1) (Design lateral force 0.133g or 0.10g instead of the API Standard 0.0g.) The 1961 Tupras EFR tanks and foundations were significantly stronger than an API Standard tank design like Trans Mountain’s 1953 EFR tanks – yet the 1961 Tupras tanks failed by sloshing in the Kocaeli Mw 7.4 Earthquake.
(*1) – Either the 1956 City of Los Angeles Code (seismic force 0.133g) or the 1959 SEAOC Code (seismic force 0.10g). Verified by Professor Emeritus Kohei Susuki, Head of 1999 JSCE Investigation of Damaged Industrial Facilities, Kocaeli EQ and Professor Polat Gulkan, Department of Civil Engineering, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey – both present at Tupras Refinery Manager’s Site Meeting. Dr. Suzuki (now Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Tokyo Metropolitan University) recalled the California Seismic Code reference during a site information meeting. Professor Gulkan verified the accuracy of the JSCE Report.
NEW DESIGN STANDARD FOR EFR TANK SLOSHING
Seismic shaking records from the nearby Yarimca Recording Station and measurements of EFR sloshing wave heights gave University Researchers the data to develop a sloshing analysis computer program along with onsite seismic test requirements. The new EFR Sloshing Design Requirements were issued in the Proceedings of the 2008 World Conference on Earthquake Engineering (WCEE) by Yazici & Cili.
In 2008 Kinder Morgan Canada and their Structural Engineer should have investigated the sloshing failure of 1953 EFR tanks using the current (NBC2005) seismic design requirements. Kinder Morgan Canada could have informed the NEB, City of Burnaby and SFU they would replace the EFR tanks in stages over the next say 10 years. They would now have replaced all the EFR tanks with new tanks designed to recent or current seismic load requirements. A major improvement of the Burnaby Terminal they planned to expand in the TMEP.
KINDER MORGAN IGNORED TUPRAS EFR TANK FAILURE WARNING
Instead Kinder Morgan Canada and their Structural Engineer ignored the Warnings and the New EFR Sloshing Design Requirements, went ahead and designed the three-fold expansion of the Burnaby Terminal that retained the 6 1953 EFR and 3 1953 IFR tanks in service. They used Trans Mountain Company Policy to not upgrade any existing facilities for newer seismic codes. They ignored the obvious, potentially serious seismic risk of the Existing 1953 Tanks and issued Appendix B2 Updated Risk Assessment for the Burnaby Terminal stating the seismic risk assessment included all existing and new oil storage tanks.
Kinder Morgan Canada’s Professional Engineers on the Trans Mountain Expansion Project and the design of the Expanded Burnaby Terminal have:
- Falsified Appendix B2 existing tank seismic risk analysis,
- Ignored the requirements of the Tupras EFR Warning – to review the 1953 EFR tanks for sloshing failure using Yazici & Cili’s 2008 WCEE Paper (Ref 2),
- Failed to test the 1953 tank steel plate welded connections to verify whether the 66-year old welds were up to spec. ,
- Ignored possible site preparation deficiencies for the 1953 tank foundations, etc.,
- Failed to review the buoyancy of existing floating roofs to prevent the roof sinking to the tank bottom under earthquake and to replace the perimeter metal plate seals to mitigate sparking from roof hitting tank walls during earthquakes.
- Ignored the Life-Safety of thousands of residents, SFU staff and students and the Elementary School right beside the Burnaby Terminal.
The National Energy Board review process obviously didn’t investigate or question Kinder Morgan Canada’s structural engineering assessment of the Existing Trans Mountain Burnaby Terminal or the Existing 1953 Tanks in the Expanded Burnaby Terminal.
1. Japan Society of Civil Engineers (JSCE) Kocaeli Earthquake Journal Report Vol 1 Chapter 07 (Damage to Industrial Facilities) pp 7.1 – 7.10.
2. Evaluation of the Liquid Storage Tank Failures in the 1999 Kocaeli Earthquake by Yazici & Cili 2008 World Conference on Earthquake Engineering Paper.