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A tank fire is one of the worst things that can happen in the oil & gas world but it’s a possibility when working with combustible gases.

Just how prevalent are they?

What are the main causes?

And of course, how can you effectively deal with them should one occur?

Let’s discuss these question in more detail below.

How prevalent are oil tank fires?

A research report studied domestic storage tank fires and found several interesting details. 

  1. A large number of fires involve floating roof tank, fixed roof tank and external floating roof tanks. 15 – 20 “large” oil tank fire accidents occur every year on average.
  2. The most common cause of a tank fire is an open fire that causes the tank to also catch fire. This accounts for over 52% of tank fires. Other common causes include lightning strike, static electricity, human error, and sparks.
  3. The most common types of tank fires among floating roof tanks include roof seal failures followed by full-area fires and fire embankment fires.

The report also discussed how a fire that is quickly controlled and contained may be prevented from developing into a full fire. If allowed to grow, the fire may last several days leading to larger problems including downtime, an expansion of the fire, and environmental problems.

How can oil tank fires be prevented?

Some oil tank fires are caused by conditions beyond the control of the owner such as lightning.

But what can an oil & gas professional do to reduce the chances they experience a fire?

Here’s an interesting quote from the above-mentioned research that discusses poor maintenance as being one cause for a fire:

“Due to technical and management reasons, a large number of domestic storage tanks are in overdue or long-term continuous operation state, and lack of effective testing means and scientific risk assessment methods, their safety state is poor.”

(Source: E3S)

The same research referred to the “many auxiliary facilities and complicated technology, which is the hazard source of fire and explosion” that also may or not may be properly maintained.

So assuming you maintain your tanks but still want to learn more about how you can protect against the threat of a fire, OilPro can help with a new tool from XTT.

Xtreme Tank Tool from OilPro CAFS

How XTT from OilPro address oil tank fires

The Freedom Tool from Xtreme Tank Technologies (XTT) and OilPro is a four-in-one tool that offers fire suppression, vapour release, vapour removal and oil skimming together.

The XTT tool offers a number of unique advantages in one product.

Among other things it:

  • Can be built on new and existing tanks and installed in less than a day.
  • Can be built to offer automatic fire suppression.
  • Doesn’t require the automatic fire detection and firefighting system installed on its tanks.
  • Remains in the “Flash Zone” during a fire and stays with your tank level. 


Call OilPro directly at 403-215-3373 or by email at [email protected] to learn more about the benefits of the XTT tool.


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