Oilfield Tank Battery: Video Overview

An oilfield tank battery is the combination of surface vessels gathered in one place to process a wellstream into sellable or disposable products. 

Oilfield tank batteries exist mainly in the upstream sector of the energy industry. Some call a configuration where two wells share the same pad a central tank battery or CTB. 

In this video, we look at different configurations of tank batteries and terminologies related to those configurations. 

What Does an Oilfield Tank Battery Do?

Tank batteries are constructed to process resources brought to the surface by the E&P producer. Those resources are made sellable to midstream companies according to contractual guidelines.

During production, several products are being separated from each other. Producers could need to separate oil from water, gas from oil, gas from water, free water from emulsion, sulfur from gas, crude oil from emulsion, or more. 

The goal of the producer is to get their product to market as safely as possible with the least amount of expense. Multiple vessels are sometimes needed to get the resource to market.

The material that the storage tanks are made of and the number of each tank gives us an idea about the volume and the makeup of the fluids produced at each well site. Paint schemes can also tell us who owns the equipment.  

Where Does it Go After the Oilfield Tank Battery? 

On many sites, the produced resources leave the oilfield tank battery going three different directions, where midstream companies will take over ownership. 

  1. A meter run will record recording the gas sales that take place. Pipelines will send the gas downstream for further processing.
  2. Steel tanks on the location are where oil sales take place. Trucks will come on site to pick up periodically. 
  3. Fiberglass tanks tell us the salt water is being stored there or made ready for disposal. Trucks will come on site to pick up periodically.