All primary containment measures, no matter how safe, have a chance of failure. Secondary containment measures are incredibly important for all companies dealing with crude oil. A single leak or spill could result in significant fines and penalties, in addition to disruption to oilfield operations. Here are a few ways to improve your secondary containment procedures.
1. Keep Secondary Containers Covered
Any secondary containment area has to be protected from the elements. If rainwater can get into your secondary containment vessels, these vessels may overflow in the event of a leak. Check your secondary containment vessels during times of severe weather to make sure that water isn’t being captured. Any runoff areas, such as drainage ditches, should also be protected against rain, flood, and storm water.
2. Invest in Applied Liners
In addition to runoff and containment vessels, applied and installed liners provide additional assurance. Liners are made out of either spray-on or installed materials that have exceptionally low permeability, so that oil will not penetrate them sufficiently before clean-up can be engaged. Advanced secondary containment vessels also come with liners installed, and spray-on liners can be used in areas of any size.
3. Invest in High Wall Containment
High wall containment can be tailored to your oilfield site’s individual needs. Created with modular equipment, high wall containment uses mobile walls and liners to create a secondary containment system that is easily customized and can hold a high volume without failure. Regulations require that oilfield services must have enough containment volume to cover either 10% of the total volume of their containers or the volume of their largest container — depending on whichever is greater. Investing in the rental of high wall containment that goes beyond this volume will increase the safety of the oilfield without a dramatic increase of expenses.
4. Hiring a Professional Containment Service
Professional oilfield services often offer secondary containment equipment and maintenance, to ensure the safety of your oilfield site. By outsourcing your containment, you can remove a significant amount of burden from your own organization, while focusing on your company’s operations. Professional containment services can do everything from install rented containment equipment on your site to manage all of your safety operations, depending on how extensive you need their services to be.
There are strict regulations for secondary containment protocols and equipment — and these regulations change every year. Companies dealing with oil containment may want to consult with a professional containment service to ensure that their current measures are up to regulatory standards.