Need a frac tank, but not sure which tank is best for your application? Take a look at the available options in the market today.
Oil and gas drilling doesn’t show signs of slowing down, which means contractors are always on the hunt for the best frac tanks. While they have been used for almost 70 years, modern frac tanks continue to evolve, offering contractors tanks that will do more, carry more and provide specialized field duty.
Frac tank applications include cleanup operations, oilfield operations and temporary water/liquid storage, but deciding which one you need can be overwhelming. When shopping, be sure to tell a manufacturer what your specific purposes are to ensure you invest in the proper frac tank.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Will the tank hold freshwater or brine water?
- Do you need a tank designed to handle corrosive fluids or is that not an issue?
- What environmental circumstances can the tank handle? Can it withstand extreme temperatures (heat or cold)?
Another consideration is whether the frac tank you’re considering meets either Department of Environmental Quality regulations or U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations.
With such a wide variety of available frac tanks, here’s a look at the different types of frac tanks and features to help you choose the one that best suits your needs.
Standard frac tanks typically hold 500 barrels of fluid — or 21,000 gallons. However, smaller tanks that still qualify as frac tanks include mini-fracs and roll-off containers.
Although the specialized tanks market has grown, standard 500-barrel frac tanks are still a bread-and-butter option for many contractors. The standard frac tank is designed to hold water or proppant stored at job sites, and it remains a key piece of equipment in the oil and gas industry.
Designed to meet the daily challenges of work in the oilfield, 500-barrel standard frac tanks usually come equipped with several features to extend the lifespan of the tank and ensure general usability in the field.
Investing in a specific floor structure can help provide easier cleaning and pumpout, and a curved crown protects against standing water, reducing the potential for corrosion. Inside or outside manifolds are available for most models, depending on the application. For instance, you might choose an external manifold in warmer climates, for ease of hookup and to isolate different lines coming to or from the manifold.
Specialty tanks are designed to meet the demanding needs of acidic fluids, harsh environments and any unique challenges in the oilfields.
Acid tanks are built to hold corrosive fluid. These purpose-built frac tanks handle acidic fluids during fracking, and each tank features a lining that withstands the fluid’s harsh effects. The anticipated fluid acidity determines which coating is best suited for your specific application.
Smooth-wall frac tanks, as the name describes, are built without corrugated walls, which makes them easier to clean than standard frac tanks. Smooth walls minimize the chance of coating deterioration or failure. This is also particularly useful if your customers are diligent about clean tanks.
Another variation is a vapor-tight frac tank. These tanks feature standard and custom specs but include a pressure-relief vent, optional sight tube and sealable manways. They are designed with operator safety in mind when fumes/gases are a problem.
Small but mighty
Despite the smaller volume, 440-barrel tanks offer the same standard features as their 500-barrel counterparts. A double-wall tank boasts an internal and external wall and ensures secondary containment, which conforms to EPA requirements in some areas. These tanks are hydro-tested and the interstitial space is air-tested, guaranteeing the equipment is structurally sound.
Open-top or removable-top tanks offer more versatility, allowing easy product mixing and letting users visually monitor the products during mixing. These tanks do not have any ventilation issues and can be fitted with gas-busters in situations where a high level of gas venting is necessary.
Mini frac tanks or roll-off containers are ideal for smaller sites typical for refineries or for industrial and manufacturing customers, where space is in short supply. Built to be maneuverable in smaller spaces, these tanks can be customized as a double-wall or skid-mount, ensuring practicality, even with a smaller footprint.
Some additional features can be applied to any frac tank, regardless of size or volume. These options may include use in cold-weather applications, which would mean adding steam lines or fabrication with cold-weather-resistant steel.
Adding other components, such as weir walls, offers fluid separation/clarification and greater flexibility in the field.
Most tanks can be outfitted with platforms, such as catwalks, ladders and other components that can be removed, replaced or adjusted in the field.
Frac tanks come in various shapes and sizes, and most can be fabricated to meet any of your needs. Take the time to do your research and be sure to communicate your needs to manufacturers when choosing a frac tank to handle the challenges of work in the oil and gas fields.
Not sure where to begin the search? Here’s a selection of mobile and bulk storage solutions, including frac tanks, roll-off containers and vacuum trucks and tanks.
About the Author
Rebecca Larson is the marketing director at PCI Manufacturing LLC, a subsidiary of Pinnacle Companies Inc., which manufactures high-quality liquid storage and transport equipment for the oil and gas industry. By promoting a culture of satisfaction above all, the company has earned a reputation for delivering quality service and support when you need it most. For more information, call 800/256-5633 or visit www.pcimfgllc.com.