Crude oil tank cleaning



AWS uses the latest technology and automated tank cleaning systems to deliver reliable no-man entry cleaning for small to large sized crude oil storage tanks.  Man entry is reduced by more than 80% compared with conventional methods through the use of our remote control washing units and powerful pumps.

The process begins with the assessment of sludge levels and the determination of the most appropriate technology and cleaning methodology to use.




Sludge is circulated and re-suspended using powerful ATEX certified pumps and sophisticated sweeps submerged within the liquid phase of the tank. Mixing agents such as clean crude oil, diesel or water are added to facilitate circulation and suspension of the sludge.  This process of mixing allows the tank contents to be easily pumped away for oil recovery.


The re-suspended crude oil is pumped away to a separate oil storage area such as the next tank. The significantly emptied tank is now ready for cleaning.

A combination of automated canons, robotic hydraulic movers and remote controlled high flow washing units are used to clean the tank and to remove remaining oil and sedimentation.

The high flow washing units are fitted with high resolution cameras and are remotely controlled from a control room fitted with monitors and control panel.

Final cleaning of tank internals

Once the sludge and sediments have been removed by remote systems, personnel can enter the tank for final cleaning.  The internal surfaces including the underside of tank roof, internal roof legs, wall and floor areas are cleaned with high pressure jet washing and detergent. The final clean provides a gas free atmosphere inside the tank to enable inspection, maintenance and tank repairs to be carried out.


AWS arranges tank bottom and wall plate inspection by an independent licensed inspector in line with the requirements of API 653 using approved methods such as: magnetic flux scan, ultrasonic scan or magnetic particle.

Removal of internal coatings

Where internal coatings require removal, either due to contamination or deterioration, Ultra-High Pressure jet washers are used to remove the coating and to provide surface preparation prior to recoating.

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