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Resource Abstract

Numerical Study of Headspace O2 Concentration in Bakken Oil Storage Tanks

Date Published: 10/25/2019
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Resource Abstract

Bakken oil tank batteries typically operate without a purge gas sweep in the headspace above the oil. Instead, the tanks are maintained under a slight positive pressure from gas flashed from the oil while filling, but the tanks develop a vacuum when they are emptied. To limit negative pressure, air is allowed into the tanks through a vacuum relief valve. Since this allows atmospheric O2 to mix with combustible gases within the tank, it is theoretically possible to form a flammable mixture within the tank headspace. The goal of this study was to identify the key factors that affect O2 content of the headspace and estimate values for it under several tank scenarios.

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