You may have seen one, on a lonely stretch of railroad just outside an oil refinery, or planted in the middle of seemingly endless fields of corn and soybeans. Maybe you caught a glimpse from above, outside an airplane window: rows and rows of giant tanks. 

What is that place? It’s a tank farm. They’re a crucial component of modern life and industry, storing the substances necessary to transportation and production. Below, we explain what a tank farm is, some common applications of tank farms, and the safety concerns and practices that attend them. 

Definition of a Tank Farm

Simply put, a tank farm is a site containing many aboveground storage tanks (ASTs), used primarily for the bulk storage of chemicals and fluids, like water, oil, or even jet fuel. They are also used for substances like the acids used in many manufacturing processes. In the oil and gas industry, tank farms may be referred to as oil terminals or oil depots.

Tank farms generally consist of a series of storage tanks, usually ASTs, and gantries, structures used to discharge substances for transport. Gantries are often bridge-like structures that allow for discharge of the substance into shipping vessels like barges or tanker trucks.

definition of a tank farm

What Are Some Common Uses for Tank Farms?

Tank farms are most commonly associated with oil and gas, as these are flammable, hazardous substances that are stored as liquids and are used throughout the country (and the world) for fuel for a variety of applications. Tank farms are often located at the source of extraction for fuel oils or at ends of pipelines.

Propane and other fuels are also commonly stored at tank farms. Locations such as airports or space launch bases may have their own tank farms for fuel storage.

Thorough Safety Training and Culture

It’s a common saying in construction and industry that a process is only as safe as the least safe person involved, and it’s true. Fostering a safety culture, with recurrent safety training and employees who are committed to safe working practices, is crucial to keeping people, nature, and the company’s bottom line healthy and safe on a tank farm.

Get Safe Aboveground Storage Tank Fabrication & Installation from PALA

If your application requires a tank farm, PALA Interstate has the aboveground storage tank and tank services you need. We offer pressure vessel and AST fabrication, along with inspection, maintenance, and  3D tank laser scanning services. Let us be your one-stop tank farm shop — get in touch today to discuss your aboveground storage tank needs.