Oil Companies Gain Competitive Advantage with Oil Storage

Steel Storage Tank for Oil storageWith the highly competitive nature of today’s oil industry, companies are searching for every advantage available. To gain a considerable lead, companies are using a proven storage solution with updated features.

The bolted steel tank for oil storage provides customers significant time and cost savings. Modern bolted steel storage tanks include innovative materials and processes to increase the durability of the steel tanks. New bolted steel oil tanks incorporate heavy duty Buna N gaskets which are specially designed for use with storage of oil and other hydrocarbon fluids. In addition, Superior Tank uses the same advanced powder coating which is used on steel oil pipelines thereby providing significant increases in the tank’s lifespan. Many years of success illustrate that modern bolted steel storage tanks work very well with oil storage without leaks or failure. Lifecycle cost analysis has shown bolted steel tanks meet or exceed the performance of welded steel tanks but at a much lower cost.

In addition, bolted steel tanks provide a significant time advantage as they can be erected in 1/3 of the time of welded steel oil storage tanks. The only work needed in the field is simply bolting the prefabricated panels together. Tank kits complete with Buna N gaskets and special hardware designed for the oil industry are shipped directly to the job site for fast and efficient assembly.

With the current focus on safety in the oil industry, many companies are also reaping the benefits of bolted steel tanks. Bolted steels tanks do not require welding on site, therefore the risk of a fire is dramatically reduced. As assembly is dramatically faster, fewer man hours are spent on scaffolding reach to upper levels thereby reducing fall potential. All bolted steel tanks are factory prefinished, consequently on site painting and the associated ventilation processes are eliminated.

When needed, bolted steel tanks also provide appreciable benefits when designed for storage of frac process water or frac sand storage.

As the oil industry continues to move forward, more companies are expected to gain a competitive advantage by using bolted steel storage tanks.

EPDM, Viton or Buna-N Gaskets – What’s in a name?

Bolted Storage Tank, Storage Tank Gasket, Bolted Tank, Bolted Steel Storage Tank When purchasing a Bolted Steel Tank from Superior Tank, customers have several choices of gaskets. We offer three different premium gasket materials for our steel storage tanks: EPDM, Viton or Buna-N. Selecting the proper gasket material can make a significant difference in the lifespan of the tank.

EPDM (ethylene-propylene-diene-monomer) is a specially designed synthetic rubber for water applications. The general operating temperature for EPDM is -70 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit making it well suited to most water storage applications. In addition to outstanding water resilience, EPDM is very resistant to damage caused by heat, compression, sunlight, acetones, alkalis and ozone. However, it is not recommended for use with acids or hydrocarbons.

Similar to EPDM, Viton is also an elastomer with high yield strength for outstanding durability. Viton is manufactured by DuPont and is specifically formulated for use with most hydrocarbons including corrosive liquids such as crude oil and biodiesel. However, Viton is not recommended for storage of ketones and organic acids. It is also very resistant to compression, heat, acids, alkalis, ozone, sunlight and salt solution. With this tolerance to many harsh liquids and a very wide temperature range of -15 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, Viton can be used with almost all steel tanks and most storage applications. Viton has years of proven success in the field and provides outstanding durability.

Buna-N is another option when outstanding resistance to oil, hydrocarbon and chemicals is required. Buna-N tank gaskets are comprised of a synthetic rubber copolymer and are very well suited to storage of crude oil and other petrochemicals. When storing ketones, esters and aldehydes in steel tanks, other gasket material is recommended for better longevity. Buna-N gaskets for steel tanks can withstand lower temperatures ranging from -40 to +212 degrees Fahrenheit.

We have found using a formed gasket instead of putty or mastic provides significantly better tank longevity. All gaskets used by Superior Tank are formed to a precise thickness to fit between bolted steel tank panels and remain flexible for many years. The high yield strength of the gaskets ensures they do not tear or leak when the steel expands and contracts with temperature variations. The gasket is a solid material and will not ooze or creep out of place. Our precision manufacturing process places bolt holes in the exact location to prevent bunching up or over stretching of the gasket resulting in leaks. In addition, bolt holes in the gasket are intentionally slightly smaller than the bolts to eliminate gaps and prevent leaks.

The cost of gaskets will vary depending on the material selected and the width required by the tank design. The bolted steel tank experts at Superior Tank can provide guidance regarding the best gasket material for your application and the liquid stored.

Is El Nino Coming and Are You Prepared?

California and the Western US have been in the midst of a severe drought with water storage supplies becoming dangerously low. Fortunately there may be relief coming in the way of an El Nino weather pattern. As of June 2014 the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) predicts the chance of an El Nino for the Northern Hemisphere this summer to be 70% and increasing to 80% during the winter.

The effects of El Nino throughout the US could be dramatic. For example in parts of Southern California rain totals could equal 172% of Normal Precipitation. For parts of Northern California totals could reach 145% of Normal Precipitation. Other areas such as Washington D.C. could experience decreased snowfall amounts and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts hurricane season to be near or below normal levels. El Nino has not arrived yet and the situation is still unpredictable but conditions continue to be favorable.

Many utilities and water districts are already preparing for a wetter than usual winter. Routine maintenance such repairs, washouts, dry inspections and coating rehabs have been postponed for several years due to high fire danger and low water supplies. An El Nino winter is the perfect time to catch up with maintenance and repairs so upkeep is not required during the next drought.

In addition, some districts are installing storm water storage tanks to recapture water and reduce overflowing of treatment plants.

Superior Tank Company, Inc. can provide replacement parts and new bolted steel tanks for storm water storage.

Visit our parts page!

Contact us for more information to see how we can help you prepare for El Nino!


Superior Tank builds Steel Storage Tank for Biogas Production

Bolted Steel Tank Superior TankIn 2009 Superior Tank Co., Inc. (STCI) supplied a stainless steel storage tank used in biogas production. The bolted steel tank has a capacity of 76,000 gallons and is used for storage of corrosive liquids used in biogas generation. The biogas production system is part of an award winning Waste-to-Energy project which converts onion waste into ultra clean electricity.

The biogas facility processes up to 300,000 lbs of onion waste daily, enough electricity to power 460 homes, saving the company $700,000 in annual electrical cost. In addition, generating biogas saved the company $400,000 in waste disposal cost.

The bolted steel storage tank was manufactured at the STCI Southern California facility using 316 stainless steel. The stainless steel was resistant enough to withstand the corrosive fluid created during the process. All fittings and components were also fabricated of stainless steel to prevent corrosion in the harsh environment associated with biogas production. As the tank was prefabricated offsite, no expensive site welding of the stainless steel was needed. In addition, the storage tank was erected in 1/3 of the time of a welded steel storage tank and did not interfere with current plant operations.  Special heavy duty gaskets were used to withstand the harsh environment of the project.

After four years in use with biogas production, the steel storage tank is still performing well and is expected to provide many more years of service.

Water Storage Tank for Fire Protection Completed

Superior Tank Co., Inc. (STCI) recently completed the manufacturing and installation of a water storage tank for fire protection.Superior Tank Co., Inc. (STCI) recently completed the manufacturing and installation of a water storage tank for fire protection.  The bolted steel water storage tank has a capacity of 320,000 gallons and was installed at the remote testing facility of a large international company.

The steel water tank was manufactured by STCI at their Southern California facility then installed by an STCI Field Crew at the job site. The water tank meets stringent FM Approvals standards for storage of water used in fire protection. Ensuring proper operation of the tank is paramount to saving lives and property in the event of a fire and the FM Approval designation provides the customer confidence that the storage tank will function correctly.

According to Jhon Godoy, Production Manager, “The advanced design of the Bolted Steel Tank allowed us to save the customer considerable time and money.” STCI bolted steel tanks are precision fabricated in the factory and then shipped directly to the job site with all hardware, gasket and fittings. Only basic assembly is required in the field, dramatically reducing site impact. All site hot work such as tank welding and grinding is eliminated, something which is especially important around combustible materials where fire protection equipment is not operational yet. Since steel panels are prefinished with powder coating, there is no need for sandblasting and painting at the job site, reducing air pollution and construction time. Complete tank kits arrive to the location on a single truck and only a small number of workers are needed, thereby reducing site traffic.

The STCI team was able to manufacture and erect the water tank in 1/3 of the time compared to a conventional welded tank design, providing the customer with fire protection much sooner.

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What is ISO 9001 For Bolted Steel Tanks?

API, API QMS Registered, API Q1 Registered ISO 9001

Recently Superior Tank Co., Inc. earned the prestigious American Petroleum Institute (API) Q1-ISO 9001:2008 certification for bolted steel oil storage tanks. This certification for manufacturing of oil tanks is a culmination of years of hard work that ensures our oil industry customers will receive the highest quality steel storage tank delivered on time.

API’s audit team reviewed numerous aspects of our tank manufacturing process from sales ordering through bolted steel tank production and tank installation; they determined Superior Tank employs processes and procedures that will guarantee a high quality product. Compliance to strict American Petroleum Institute (API) Q1 and ISO 9001:2008 standards provides customers confidence in our range of bolted steel storage tanks for oil storage.

Superior Tank Co., Inc.’s oil storage tanks are engineered to customers’ needs and range from 100 to 47,000 BBLs. The panelized design of our bolted steel tanks reduces construction time to 1/3 of conventional welded steel oil tanks, saving customers time and money. As the panels quickly bolt together using high strength bolts, no welding is required. The smaller panel size is perfect for tight spaces within an infrastructure, and large staging areas are not needed. The heavy duty API compliant gasket seals panels together and provides decades of leak free service. Custom made tank fittings and piping are installed for each application to ensure a perfect fit.

Premium power coating specifically tailored for corrosive environments is used on all oil storage tanks. As the powder coating is electrostatically applied at the factory, the “coverage is perfect 100% of the time” states Eric Marquez, Plant Manager. For additional durability, the edges of each tank panel are double coated.

Complete tank kits are shipped directly to the job site via truck or standard shipping container. Our tank field teams based in California and Texas provide full installation services throughout North America.

In addition to API Q1-ISO 9001:2008 certification, Superior Tank recently earned
FM Approvals Certification on our water storage tanks for fire protection.

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Bolted Steel Tanks Immune to Shortage of Welders

Bolted Steel TankSince 1988, the United States has experienced a significant decline in the number of welders. According to the American Welding Society there is a potential shortage of 200,000 skilled welders resulting in project delays and increased costs.

To counteract this shortage and thereby save customers time and money, Superior Tank Co., Inc. (STCI) offers a full range of large capacity bolted steel storage tanks. Unlike other storage tank designs which are welded and require a significant amount of welding, bolted steel tanks eliminate the need for costly onsite welding. The limited amount of steel welding required for STCI tank fittings is performed by a robotic welding arm ensuring 100% accuracy.  Steel panels are crafted using precision machinery inside the STCI modern production facility then shipped to the job site. The advanced bolt together design of STCI steel tanks allow for quick and simple assembly on site.

By performing steel fabrication in the factory, the amount of noise and air pollution on site is dramatically reduced. The steel tank panels are delivered to the site via one or two trucks lessening local traffic and negative impact.  In addition to saving welding costs, STCI bolted steel storage tanks reduce onsite painting costs as the steel panels are prefinished with durable powder coating.

With the high cost and shortage of welders forecast to continue for the foreseeable future, bolted steel storage tanks are certain to continue to increase in popularity.

Is a ‘Tank in a Box’ Right For Your Next Project?


Bolted steel water storage tanks are nothing new and have been used for decades with great levels of success. These tanks are sometimes referred to as a “Tank in a Box” due to the modular design of bolted steel tanks, which allows them to be packed and easily shipped anywhere in the world. Commonly, tanks are shipped via truck or standard shipping container. Tank kits come complete with hardware and fittings, and are ready to erect upon arrival. When properly designed, manufactured and installed, a “Tank in a Box” meets a wide variety of applications.

The unique modular “Tank in a Box” design is based on the use of individual heavy gauge steel plates, which are used to form the tanks. These plates are prefabricated in dedicated facilities using a variety of specialized equipment such as press breaks, robotic welding arms, drill presses and coating machinery. The final finish is applied to all tank components before they are packed for shipping. The components are precision-manufactured for longevity and a well-crafted bolted steel tank can provide over 60 years of service.

Once on site the tanks quickly bolt together with minimum site work. The erection time of a bolted tank can be as little as 1/3 of the time required to construct a similar size welded tank. In addition, the plates arrive to the job site complete with final finish already applied, eliminating the need to sandblast and paint on site. As the tanks only need to be assembled, they can be erected in various weather conditions and are resistant to adverse weather delays.

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Superior Tank Receives Initial FM Certification

TankBlogSuperior Tank Co., Inc. (STCI), the most trusted name in bolted factory powder coated steel storage tanks, announced today it has received its initial FM certification. After a final audit to certify the manufacturing facilities as FM compliant, STCI passed with the highest score possible.

The initial certification covers the calculation and drawing size 47′-6 3/8″ x 24′-1 1/2″ high. STCI’s Rancho Cucamonga facilities are qualified at the High QCFM rate which will allow for a lower certification cost for future diameters, as well as different matrix system to mass certify for STCI’s Bolted Steel Storage Tanks.

“This is the result of 3 years of hard work, discipline, patience and commitment to a new system based on quality standards and technology driven processing,” said Jhon Godoy, CIO. “Our efforts were highly celebrated by the FM Auditor.”

Superior Tank Co., Inc. has been manufacturing and installing a complete line of bolted and welded steel storage tanks for the potable water, wastewater, fire protection, rain harvesting and crude oil industries since 1984. Superior Tank was the first to apply Thermoset Fusion Bonded Powder Coatings to bolted steel storage tanks. STCI’s Storage Tanks conform to standards set by American Water Works Association (AWWA) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Superior Tank Co., Inc. also follows the standards and specifications set by the American Petroleum Institute (API). STCI can manufacture bolted steel storage tanks in capacities of 4,000 gal to 2.2 million gal. and can be shipped and erected bolted to anywhere in the world.

Superior Tank Co., Inc. offers the following services: engineering, design, manufacturing, maintenance, service agreements, fabrication, installation, dismantling, tank rehabilitation and seismic retrofits. In addition, STCI also performs site work preparation and foundation design, i.e. grading, excavating, structural concrete.

About Superior Tank Co., Inc.

Superior Tank Company, Inc. is a family-owned business started by Jess E. Marquez in 1984. Mr. Marquez has 60 years worth of experience in managing oilfield and water tank construction and installation. All together the family has over a 100 years of experience in the bolted and welded steel storage tank business. Next year will mark STCI’s 30th year of business and the opening of its second manufacturing facility in Texas.

Glass Coated Tanks – Worth the Money?

Glass TanksOf all the questions we are asked while attending trade shows all over the world, the following questions are the two most common: first; “What are the advantages of factory powder coated tanks over glass-coated tanks?” and  “are they really cheaper than glass-coated tanks?”.

One of the most important points to consider when deciding between a glass-coated tank and a powder coated tank is the tank’s life cycle cost. Two of the most common misconceptions are that glass-coated tanks are cheaper because they never need to be recoated and that a glass-coated tank will last forever. Well…… false in the first count, therefore, false in the second count; glass-coated tanks are very rigid and have little flexibility. They are more often than not subject to coating failure at the bolt heads and edges, making them vulnerable to corrosion attacks. There have been many incidents of spalling, where glass has flaked into stored liquids within the first 5 -10 years of the tank’s life. That’s pretty disturbing, especially if you are the end user, relying on the quality of the water stored inside the tanks.

One more item to consider in your “worthiness checklist” is that glass-coated tanks are not entirely coated; parts of the structure (wind girders, nozzles, rafters, etc.) are made of galvanized steel, the tank’s top is aluminum and the bottom is concrete. This means that cathodic protection will be required and the maintenance of such a system is a continuous and expensive burden, to say the least.

Wear and tear is an inevitable issue for all tanks. Considering that a glass coated tank cannot be recoated in the field, the downtime for maintenance is a huge cost issue; selecting the right coating for your needs should be a top priority.

At the end of its life cycle, a glass-coated tank must be totally dismantled and sometimes fully replaced. This means field repair is not an option and the extended service life is nonexistent. Now, all of a sudden the total life cycle cost of a glass-coated tank becomes astronomical. It doesn’t seem to be worth the money after all, does it?

We pioneered the use of powder coating in the industry 24 year ago for two indisputable reasons: quality and durability. These reasons have been the driving force for excellence behind our products, making powder coated tanks reliable and trouble free. Ask around, you won’t regret it.

If you stop and think about what makes the purchase of a bolted steel storage tank successful, you will realize that choosing the right coating is fundamental in achieving the savings and trouble-free storage you desire. Factory powder coated tanks seem to be not only the wisest choice, but the only choice.