Welcome to Tanks & Terminals 2015, the very first issue of a brand new exciting supplement to Hydrocarbon Engineering, which focuses exclusively on all aspects of the oil, gas and petrochemical tanks and terminals sector. Over the last few years, the oil and gas industry has seen its fair share of action with the shale gale, LNG export permitting in the US, plummeting oil prices and increasingly stringent environmental regulations and, of course, all of these have impacted storage.
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The abundance of shale oil and gas flowing in the US, and being sought for elsewhere in the world, has meant that there has been a big increase in demand for tank and terminal capacity. It has also opened a variety of new business opportunities for those involved in this portion of our industry and if shale continues to grow globally, it doesn’t look like the storage sector is going to waiver any time soon. LNG export terminal permitting is picking up pace in the US and as this becomes an increasingly viable option, movements in the LNG terminal construction sector are incredibly stimulating for the storage industry. Also, the big leaps and bounds being made in LNG regasification and liquiefaction terminals in other global locations such as Australia are giving the storage sector an additional boost.
When I think of wildly fluctuating oil prices, the significant drops that have occurred in the last few months alone spring to mind and one can’t help but feel that these are positive for the storage sector. As oil is currently so cheap per barrel, compared to the highs we saw last summer, there are cases of barrels being snapped up for a rainy day, and where is this rainy day stock kept? In tanks and terminals around the globe! Singapore is a clear example of a location where the supply of storage space cannot keep up with demand, and with business booming in such an integral global storage hub the future looks bright. However, as I mentioned above, environmental compliance, policies and regulations are having a big impact on the tanks and terminals industry. Alas, this is something that cannot be avoided, but it should bolster those industries that are linked to the sector as amendments, improvements and adjustments are made.
So, the above was a brief whirlwind tour of the oil/gas/petrochemicals tanks and terminals industry over the last few months and years, but in the pages that follow we are giving you a more in depth look at the thrilling new developments that are currently being achieved and monitored. Ng Weng Hoong provides a detailed profile of Asia’s storage sector to kick off the issue and we take a look at the environmental side of things with Trinity Consultants, which offers advice on how to avoid air permitting pitfalls. Safety and security is a key issue in any industry and tanks and terminals are no exception, so UKPIA are providing a keynote article on safety regulations for tankers that are exiting terminals. The usual topics of flow metering, level gauging and automation are of course analysed in this issue but we are particularly proud to have Melinda Whitney, President of the ILTA, answering 15 questions for us on page 80 where she talks about developments in the terminals sector, the ILTA as a global association and a few other odds and ends.
I do hope you enjoy reading this magazine as much as we have enjoyed developing it and putting it together over the past six months, and look forward to engaging with you further at storage industry events around the world. We kick things off at StocExpo with the magazine launch and then will be at other key events such as ILTA, NISTM and Tank World Expo later in the year.