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Chasing Leaks

New Technology Magazine is the best source for stories about new and cost-saving technologies in the upstream oil and gas industry.

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Enviro Vault's New ThermoVault Tank Design Increases Safety, Lowers Operating Costs

Enviro Vault Canada Ltd.’s ThermoVault tank system offers a safer, more environmentally advantageous alternative to standard methods of heating and separating oil from water.

The ThermoVault’s catalytic heaters use a flameless radiant heat system, safe for use in Class 1 Div 1 areas, making them ideally suited for light oil separation and storage.

Firetube-related issues increase the risk of serious incidents during operations, which is precisely why Vero Energy Inc. decided to try Enviro Vault’s new tank heating system. Vero Energy is a Calgary-based company engaged in exploration, development and production of oil and liquids in Western Canada.

“We use the ThermoVault out of necessity, because the Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) directive does not allow a lit tank burner for light crude oil storage and separation,” says Logan Haddad, operations engineer at Vero Energy.

“Heat is the best source of separating the water from the oil so we can truck the dry oil while keeping our operating costs low,” says Haddad. The ThermoVault tank design features a large contact area that drives heat directly into the oil/water interface, which results in “dry” oil. “By trucking out dry oil we are able to save on treating fees, and this saves us up to $16/m3 at the facilities,” says Haddad.

Enviro Vault prides itself on designing and fabricating safe, durable and dependable equipment that lasts the entire life of the tank and pays for itself many times over. By improving the safety and performance of in-tank oil/water separation, the ThermoVault decreases costs in the field.

“Enviro Vault was aware of the issues surrounding the use of firetubes and realized that there was a need for a safer, efficient alternative to them for light oil applications, so we created the ThermoVault,” says Russ Hebblethwaite, president of Enviro Vault. “Our mission from day one is to be the standard in tank design. We continue to focus on designing innovative tank technologies that lead the industry in safety, function and reduced operating costs.”

“Tanks can catch on fire if there is a lit flame in the wrong conditions,” says Matt Acheson, operations engineer at Vero Energy. “There is no risk of that with a ThermoVault. Without the use of an open flame, the ThermoVault is really just safer than the alternatives, so from a regulatory standpoint it really shines. It’s obvious, Enviro Vault’s motivation behind their products is safety,” says Acheson.

Since 1996, the Canadian oil and gas industry has specified Enviro Vault as an industry leader, specializing in storage tank solutions. The company breeds a culture of imagination and innovation, evidenced by heavy investments in research and development with a goal of developing the next generation of solutions for tank safety and environmental stewardship.

Vero Energy Ltd. is a public oil and gas exploration and development company located in Calgary with operations in Western Canada. Vero has a track record of continuous growth in reserves and production on both a whole and a per share basis, predominantly through drilling, since its inception in 2005. This top-tier performance occurred over a time of extremely volatile commodity prices, significant changes in government regulation and legislature, and an unprecedented uncertainty in world economies. In early 2012, Vero made a strategic decision to sell all of its deep-basin gas assets and maintain a light oil platform with a significant inventory of drillable locations.

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