Article: Thief Hatch Monitoring for Storage Tanks

13 October 2020

Nearly half of all emissions in major oil basins come from storage tanks. Equipment companies and producers have been working together to install better and tighter sealing thief hatches – hatches used on tanks for manual access to product- for decades, but even the best thief hatch will not seal if it is not closed. Unsealed thief hatches are a major issue in the field, enough so that governments are starting to take regulatory action against offenders.

Equipment monitoring has become ubiquitous in many aspects of process control. Industry 4.0 is beginning to revolutionize efficiency in all aspects of production, transportation and distribution, but it has been slower to catch on in remote storage at upstream tank batteries. This may be due to any number of reasons, such as a perceived high cost of implementation, tank location or lack of knowledge about equipment monitoring options that are available. Now, thanks to Industry 4.0, these remote batteries are becoming more and more connected, with level sensors automatically notifying suppliers to send more product. But gaps in monitoring and connectivity still remain.

Read the full article by Jeff Jones of Emerson in Fugitive Emissions Journal.