Oil pipe strain and movement monitoring.

James Fisher Strainstall has been contracted to instrument two oil storage tanks in the UAE.

In order to verify the Finite Element Analysis (FEA) model of storage tanks used at the Abu Dhabi Crude Oil Pipeline Project (ADCOP) Main Oil Terminal in Fujairah, UAE, James Fisher Strainstall (JF Strainstall) were contracted by the International Petroleum Investment Company to instrument two identical tanks, to measure the strain and movements at the inlet pipe nozzle and first hanger support during and after first filling of oil. Surface temperature was also monitored to compensate for thermal effects on the structure.

Each tank was instrumented with 7 strain gauges to monitor changes in strain levels. 3 prisms were used to measure the lateral movement of the inlet pipe with 2 movement markers recording the vertical movement of the bottom gusset plate and first hangar. Temperature was monitored with 13 thermocouples. Data loggers were then used to capture and store the signals from the various instrumentation.

Initial monitoring was carried out to measure the effect of temperature and other environmental conditions on the structure. This took place over a month and the results showed strain levels/changes were as expected, confirming the calculations of the original FEA model.