Oil terminals

This article is for those who want to learn about oil terminals. Because this article is relatively short, we can’t possibly cover everything. Therefore, we’ll start with a book recommendation before giving you a brief overview on terminal storage that we hope will pique your interest further.

The “International safety guide for oil tankers and terminals” is a book that you should definitely attempt to get a hold of if you’re interested in the business of crude oil. It is the one and only complete guide to the storage and transportation of not only petrol, but of other petroleum based materials as well as crude oil. The most recent version is the fifth version, and it contains information about tankers, terminals (which is what this article delves into more) and management of the whole system that you’re likely to use during a career in crude oil management. It also includes a CD-ROM so that you can read the book in PDF format (that is, if you buy a physical edition.)

Oil terminal operations are based essentially around this simple maxim: Get the oil from the source to the destination as efficiently as possible. The goal of a terminal within this maxim is to store the crude oil or petroleum until it is ready. Then the transfer of stored oil to the tankers who will transport it to its final destination has to be quick and efficient, and as simple as possible. This means creating a place where it is easy for huge vehicles to get in and out quickly and without fuss, as well as the mechanics needed to store and transport huge volumes of a highly flammable material.

This is why oil and gas terminal safety is so important, and why you should read the book above if you ever want to manage an oil terminal yourself.  When we talk about liquid gold, we don’t really understand what a dangerous chemical this is. Explosions and toxic waste which have affected areas for decades afterwards have been the result of poor practice and simple freak accidents-of-nature interacting with oil; look at the Exxon disaster or the recent BP Louisiana clean-up operation to know the devastating effects not safely storing oil can have.

And whilst those disasters are reasonably isolated and the oil industry is generally a necessarily safe industry, realize that that is because every driver, digger and terminal operator up to every CEO knows the importance of safety. They have to carry that weight on their shoulders, or face being the next explosion or natural disaster tank whistle.

So, what is a crude oil terminal? A crude oil terminal is a terminal storage facility where crude oil or petroleum or similar materials are kept. Think of them like an organ of the body of the modern world: like it or not, oil, or black gold as some call it, is the lifeblood that flows through modern civilization. Everything we eat, every way we are transported and everything from our clothes to our furniture rely on oil for their manufacturing. Essentially, if oil is the life blood of civilization, and therefore the roads are the veins and arteries of this 21st century body, then the crude oil terminal is the organ. Some might even say the heart; as crude oil terminals pump millions of tons of oil into tankers ready to be dispatched across the world every single day.

Oil terminal construction is something interesting to discuss, because it is a massive undertaking. It involves many different bodies, as well as all the more capitalist elements such as construction companies and location.

It can cost millions if not billions of dollars to make a huge terminal. There are many factors that go into it. Some of these are:

Environmental effects. If you’re going to start an oil terminal, then you’re going to need to have thought about the environment. During the construction phase, you will have hundreds of trucks depositing materials and working on the construction of the site daily. After it has been built, you’re going to have tankers going in and out on an hourly basis, as there is always demand for more oil gauge replacement.

Cost: Like we wrote above, there are huge costs associated with building a terminal. You’ll need to contact various bodies and pass all the regulations and inspections for the site, and then the building, and then the continuous operations for the whole time the terminal is open. Oil tanks aren’t cheap, and you’ll obviously need those. Then, you need the infrastructure around it. You’ll also have to hire experienced and highly qualified staff at every step of the way. That’s before you’ve even started calculating the running costs!

Location: Like we said, oil terminals are vital to the running of the modern country. However, you need the arteries in the right place. If you have an oil terminal in the middle of nowhere, it will be far less profitable than one that is in a prime real estate location which tankers can firstly get to, and secondly take their oil to anywhere from. There is a tradeoff here though – you don’t tend to find oil terminals directly on main roads or in inner-city areas due to the noise pollution and environmental impact whistle not working.

Profitability: This is included in all the above, but merits its own discussion. Oil is an incredibly cut-throat business. There are hundreds of billions to be made in this industry, so it is only fitting. Every terminal needs to be perfectly optimized to extract every penny from every drop of oil t can. That’s because if it doesn’t, then it will be out-competed by a company whose terminals do. This is true of every little detail; how long is the drive way to the terminal? How far is the terminal from where the trucks will be? How much efficiency is built into the pumping system? All these things matter.

In Conclusion, we hope that you’ve enjoyed some of the many aspects of oil terminals.

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