In the world of liquid storage, the most commonly used large storage vessel is a frac tank. Most commonly seen on the oil field, frac tanks (frac being short for fracture) are mobile steel storage tanks used to hold water or other liquids. They are usually box-shaped and are just about the same size as the trailer on an 18-wheeler. Frac tanks hold up to 21,000 gallons (or 500 barrels) of liquid and have multiple valves that make it easier for hook-ups to various pumping operations.
Frac tanks typically hold water or a proppant during the process of fracturing a well. The water or proppant is held in the frac tank which is connected to a pump that sends the material from the tank down a wellbore at high pressure. This process pushes open the well formation, and the water or proppant is used to keep it open.
Frac tanks are of single-wall construction as a general rule, but they can be made double-walled for some applications. They have a single rear axle so they can be moved around when they are empty, usually by some type of winch or maybe a tractor. They can also be made with heating elements so they can be used in colder climates where a normal, unheated model would freeze up.
Although oil well fracturing is where you might see the majority of frac tanks, it is not the only use for these workhorse storage containers. They can be used environmentally to allow sediments, pumped from one tank to another, to settle and be left behind. When used this way, frac tanks have some of their valve fittings used with pipes at high or low suction points on one end of the tank while another pipe at the opposite end fills the tank.
Many operations will connect multiple frac tanks through use of external manifolds. Sometimes operations will use a single platform for multiple wells and will string together hundreds of tanks to support the greater volume of water needed.
The way frac tanks are made account for some of the popularity and versatility they’ve enjoyed for decades. The flat top of a frac tank is part of what has caused industries other than oil to start using these storage containers for their own purposes including deicer for airplanes. The typical life span of a frac tank is about 8-12 years, but part of this timeframe depends on how they are maintained and the environmental conditions where they are used. Areas exposed to salt water, like drilling in the Gulf, will see a much shorter life span due to saltwater erosion.
The basic frac tank is made with a v-shaped bottom, and some tank manufacturers have some modified designs to help tanks not sink into soft ground where that can be a problem – they are made with a broader “footprint”, or bottom configuration. They should be covered with high quality paint to minimize exterior rust and erosion, as well.
Although the manufacture of frac tanks fell off somewhat during the last decade, production started to rise again around 2009 as horizontal drilling became popular for shale oil production. As it stands now, production of frac tanks looks like a solid proposition for some time to come.
If you are looking for Frac Tank Suppliers, look no further than AFC Tanks. They are the leading
Production Tank Manufacturers in the industry.