Storage Terminal News Briefs: Expansions, acquisitions and West TX ammonia plant explosion video

Feb. 9, 2016

Here is this week’s roundup of the latest news and announcements affecting tank storage terminal operations.

1. Are US crude oil storage tanks full to overflowing? The Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently said that crude oil in storage now totals nearly 503 million barrels, according to 24/7 Wall St. According to the EIA, total US crude oil storage capacity totals around 521 million barrels. Of the total that the agency reports as storage, however, are approximately 120 million barrels of “storage” in pipelines, on ships, or in local tanks that hold crude from low-producing wells. Thus, the actual remaining capacity in working storage tanks is closer to 140 million barrels.

2. PBF Energy's logistics arm announced it would purchase four refined product terminals from Plains All American Pipeline for $100 million, in a move that doubles PBF's nationwide fuel storage capacity with more than four million barrels of storage tankage in the Philadelphia PA area, giving it greater freedom to trade in a key market, according to a report by Seeking Alpha.

3. Gulf Petrochem sees good potential in Iran's return to the oil export market, and the privately-held oil products trader plans to expand its storage terminals in the Middle East Gulf, according to To address expected storage shortages, Gulf Petrochem is investing $50 million into new storage capacity at its Fujairah terminal, expanding by 59% percent to about 655,000 cubic meters. This will raise Gulf's total global storage capacity to over 1.1 million cubic meters, including its terminals in the Hamriyah Free Zone in the UAE and Pipavav, India.

4. The US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has released a safety video into the fatal April 17, 2013, fire and explosion at the West Fertilizer Company in West TX, which resulted in 15 fatalities, more than 260 injuries, and widespread community damage. The deadly fire and explosion occurred when about thirty tons of fertilizer grade ammonium nitrate (FGAN) exploded after being heated by a fire at the storage and distribution facility. The CSB’s newly released 12-minute safety video includes a 3D animation of the fire and explosion as well as interviews with CSB investigators and Chairperson Vanessa Allen Sutherland.