Importance Of API 653 Standard Inspections

23-05-2019 | admin

API 653 Storage Tank Inspection

Regular API-653 inspections are crucial for tank longevity and state regulatory requirements. A certified inspectors is needed to ensure that your tank is safe, reliable, and fit for continued service.

Importance of Regular API 653 Standard Inspections

API 653 is really important. Just like a car, house, or any other structure, regular inspection and maintenance is critical to obtain the longest lifespan of your fertilizer storage tank. Other reasons to regularly inspect your tank are:

  • Establish Baseline of Tank Condition and Corrosion Rates
  • Identify Problems and Needed Repairs before Significant Leak or Release Occurs
  • Prevent Leaks into Secondary Containment and/or Groundwater
  • Maintain Safe Operating Conditions
  • Minimize Chance of Catastrophic Tank Failure

The API 653 Standard is the API 650’s counterpart for inspection of above ground storage tanks (ASTs). Thus, just like API 650 used for construction of ASTs, API 653 is also based on the knowledge and experience of the best engineering experts in the tank industry worldwide as well as tank owners. API 653 was created after several fuel AST failures in the late 1980s, one of which was in Pennsylvania where ninety-three thousand barrels of oil were released and almost one fifth of the release spilled into the Monongahela River and flowed into the Ohio River. The damage caused by these failures, both economically and environmentally, prompted action to prevent further failures. Published in 1991 as maintenance procedures for above ground oil tanks, API 653 soon became the international standard for AST inspection and maintenance. Although API 653’s creation was motivated by catastrophic tank failures, the Standard evaluates tanks for fitness for operation, looking at corrosion rates and soundness of engineering structure, not simply measuring for probability of tank failure. While created for the oil tank industry, API 653 is recommended by both The Fertilizer Institute and EPA as inspection practices for fertilizer ASTs.


API 653 Storage Tank Inspection












What is an API 653 Tank Inspection?

This API Standard applies to atmospheric welded or bolted above ground storage tanks that were constructed to the API 650 standard or its predecessor, API 12C. Inspections analyze the tank for whether it is fit for continued service based on criteria analyzing the safety of the structure components.

The components examined during the inspection are the foundation, tank bottom, shell courses, roof, attached appurtenances (nozzles, manways, fill pipes, etc.), ancillary equipment (stairways, railings, etc.), and internal PVC liner if applicable. The examinations involve visual inspection as well as ultrasonic thickness measurements of the shell, roof, and floor. Based on the observations and comparison to API 650 tank requirements, the certified tank inspector will detail any needed repairs, suggested repairs, and the maximum tank or liner fill height.

Why Choose Petrosync for API 653 Training for Tank Inspections?

Currently, the Oil and Gas Training Industry continues to grow as well as the employer growth for those working in the field. In its development Petrosync remains consistent to provide quality training for you so that we can provide the best for your quality development.

This API 653 Training course will specifically benefit Engineers, Supervisors, and Managers from the following disciplines:

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Inspection
  • Maintenance & Operations
  • Technical & Engineering
  • Corrosion Engineer
  • and design persons involved in integrity assessment of in-service tanks, repairs and replacement of old tanks.

American Petroleum Institute (API) initiated an Aboveground Storage Tank Inspector Certification Program with the issuance of Supplement 1 to API 653, Tank Inspection, Repair, Alteration, and Reconstruction. This 5 days training course is designed to give a detailed discussion on the required engineering knowledge for In-service Storage tankswith emphasis on syllabus published by API (Body of Knowledge). The preparatory course will clarify basic intentions of all code prescribed for study, how to interpret code rulings and at the end, built-up the confidence among the participants for taking decisions.

The course is divided into six main areas: Basic Storage tank design engineering i.e. API 650, In-service inspection techniques (API 653/ RP 575/ RP 577), Damage mechanisms (API 571), Cathodic protection (API RP 651) and lining of tank bottom (API RP 652), calculations of retirement thickness and other skills required for delivery of quality job & safe operation. The participants will receive comprehensive course notes, illustrated with practical case studies, main punch-points of the course to impart knowledge to participants.

The objective of API 653 Training :

  • Main concepts and technical content of API 653 Code and the other reference codes
  • Concept of metal degradation.
  • Design fundamentals of storage tank (API 650).
  • Evaluation of tank integrity of shell, bottom and roof. Thickness calculations for intended design conditions or revised design conditions.
  • How to clarify the need of Cathodic Protection and lining of tank bottom.
  • Evalution and decision for remedial action in Tank Settlement.
  • How to estimate remaining life of tank and decide inspection intervals. Be able to choose the appropriate inspection tools and inspection intervals.
  • Carry out re-rating, remaining life and retirement thickness calculations.

With Mr. Uday Kale’s extensive involvements in the facilities inspection, as well as his practical coaching and mentoring approaches, this course not only prepare the candidates to pass API 653 examination with confident, it will also advance the appreciation of storage tank facilities and thus to broaden the technical knowledge base in order to avoid unplanned shutdown and reduce expenses!

Who Needs Above Ground Tank Inspections?

Every API 650 tank needs regular inspections. A formal API inspection is needed on a regular basis, but informal tank inspections completed by the tank owner is important as well. Here is a schedule of inspections to perform on an API 650 above ground storage tank recommended by The Fertilizer Institute:

  • Monthly External In-Service “Walk Around” Inspections
  • Formal External and Internal Out-of-Service API 653 Inspections Every 5-10 Years

Monthly inspections should be conducted by the owner of the tank and the results should be recorded in a log. Essentially, you need to visually inspect the outside of the tank for any corrosion, settling of the tank, leaks, or any other type of condition that has changed since the last monthly inspection. Tanks change very slowly over time, so it is important to record any observations to see any pattern and allow you to repair any issue in its infancy instead of permitting it to become a large problem.

Formal API 653 Inspections

Tanks change in ways that cannot be visually detected and that is why formal API inspections are required. A certified inspectors will used their trained eyes to visually inspect the inside and outside of the tank and use techniques, such as ultrasonic thickness measurements to test the welds and tank plate thicknesses to ensure they are secure.

For liquid fertilizer tanks, no federal requirements exist as to how often an API 650 tank must be inspected. Most states and regulatory agencies require periodic inspections. In line with the recommendations of The Fertilizer Institute, states with inspection requirements have time periods of between 5 and 10 years for inspections. State inspection requirements are usually tied to obtaining or renewing an operation license or permit.

See our brochure for API 653 training or see our API 653 Schedule