The Role of the Tank Battery

February 15, 2020

The function of a tank battery in Carlsbad, NM is one of the most critical parts of oil production infrastructure. Tank batteries are anything that are used to store the oil once it is pumped out of the ground by an oil pumpjack (also known as an oil horse or nodding donkey). They allow for pumpjacks to work for long periods at a time without needing an attendant, so they can be placed in remote areas where oil commonly is held. Having some more information about tank batteries can be useful in understanding their role in the entire process.

What is a tank battery?

A tank battery is two or more storage tanks linked together. They typically have enough capacity to allow a pumpjack to run for about four days on its own. At that point, they tend to fill up and require maintenance. Tank batteries have both an inlet and an outlet pipe—the inlet to allow in oil from the pumpjack, and the outlet to allow transportation of the oil to a pipeline, a truck or any other transportation mode that can carry the oil away from the pump site. This type of transportation capability is critical to the function of a tank battery in Carlsbad, NM.

Why don’t they overflow?

Tank batteries are interconnected, but most of the oil goes into the first tank. What allows this oil to be evenly distributed into the other tanks in the battery so that it doesn’t overflow? A device called an equalizer line allows for the oil to flow between tanks so that the secondary tanks can begin to fill with crude oil once the first tank is full. This critical step means more oil can be stored, and that multiple tanks can be linked rather than just relying on one large one for the storage of the material.

How important is fire prevention?

Tank batteries are fitted with fire suppression systems since they are dealing with a flammable substance. They might also be outfitted with a device called a “heater-treater” that uses natural gas to heat crude oil, which allows oil and water to be separated efficiently right on site. Since most of the oil pulled from the ground by pumpjacks is a mix of oil and water, this is a critical step in the function of a tank battery in Carlsbad, NM. These heater-treaters should be situated at least 100 feet from any place where gas could escape, necessitating more pipe length than is usually typical at a pump site. All of these are factors that are taken into consideration by the operators of pumping sites.

Working with oil pumpjacks presents a number of challenges, including the storage of crude oil. A tank battery allows for an efficient and effective system of harnessing and storing the oil taken from the ground. It also means that a pumpjack can run for several days at a time without maintenance or labor—a crucial benefit for oil pumpjack operators. At JB Electric LLC, our operations in New Mexico are of the highest caliber, and we utilize tank batteries for efficiency, storage and an effective tactic for pumping oil. Reach out to us today to learn more about our services.

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