Significant tank overfill incidents have focused attention on improving safety measures for petroleum refineries and tank storage terminals. As a result, the American Petroleum Institute recently revised its API 2350 recommended practices to provide a comprehensive plan for overfill prevention.
Although the API 2350 standards are not mandatory, some facilities are already using them to improve storage tank safety, as well as overall process management. However, many terminal owners/operators have found that developing an effective “Overfill Prevention Plan” is a complex and challenging initiative. Consider the fact that the following diverse factors must be taken into consideration when developing procedures that meet the API RP 2350 4th Edition’s recommended practices:
The first compliance step requires you to assess your tank inventory to determine which tanks fall under the scope of API RP 2350.
API RP 2350 requires you to develop a written risk assessment procedure that incorporates a process for determining the probability of overfill release, evaluating the consequences of an overfill occurrence and determining if the risk is acceptable to the owner/operator or should be mitigated with additional safety measures.
Definition of Operating Parameters
Two steps are involved in defining the operating parameters of an overfill prevention process (OPP): establishing the tank category for each tank covered by API RP 2350; and establishing levels of concerns (LOCs), which are calculated product levels in a tank that determine where to set alerts, alarms or automated overfill prevention system (AOPS) functions.
Overfill Prevention System (OPS) Equipment System Requirements
API RP 2350 defines two types of OPS and makes specific recommendations for the test, inspection and maintenance of the components within the OPS. Among the equipment that is typically associated with the OPS are: an alarm signal system; automated (and manual) valves, communications equipment; sensors; and logic solvers.
OPP Management System and Procedures Implementation
In accordance with the fourth edition update, implementation of a management system will enable your operation to establish processes, procedures and equipment requirements to reduce risk of overfill. While a management system is required to conform to API RP 2350 standards, it is the responsibility of the owner/operator to define the parameters and enact a management system that controls coordination of OPP components, assessment, management, maintenance and change.
Want Additional Help?
To help you help you meet the requirements of these updated recommended practices, Magnetrol has compiled a Fourth Edition Audit Workbook, complete with worksheets and customizable forms, to help walk you through the steps to API RP 2350 compliance. You can find the extensive workbook in our API RP 2350 Readiness Kit, which contains additional helpful information to help you manage your compliance initiative.
For more information about the new API RP 2350 requirements, you can also stop by and see our level control experts at Booth 117 at the International Liquid Terminals Association Conference in Houston, Texas, June 3-5, 2013.