Seismic vulnerability analysis of storage tanks for oil and gas industry



Published Mar 31, 2018
H. N. Phan F. Paolacci D. Corritore S. Alessandri


OIL AND GAS TRANSPORTATION LINE components are particularly vulnerable to natural hazard events. Steel tanks are recognized as the most vulnerable equipment to seismic action, whose damage may result in the release of materials and thus the increase of overall damage to nearby areas. The seismic vulnerability of tanks is commonly expressed by fragility curves, which are conditional probability statements of potential levels of damage over a range of earthquake intensities. This paper aims to present an appropriate procedure for analytically deriving fragility curves of tanks with the treatment of uncertainties. At first, the analysis of critical damage states of steel storage tanks observed during past earthquakes is presented. Possible numerical models of tanks subjected to earthquakes are then discussed. An overview of seismic fragility methodologies for tanks is next presented. Attention is paid to an analytical method, i.e. cloud method, which is conducted by using a probabilistic seismic demand model and non-linear time-history analyses. A broad tank, which is located in a refinery in Italy, is considered for the fragility evaluation. Resulting fragility curves for critical damage states of the tank, such as the plastic rotation of the shell-to-bottom plate joint, the buckling of the bottom shell course, and the material yielding of the shell plate, show a high seismic vulnerability of the tank.

How to Cite

Phan HN, Paolacci F, Corritore D, Alessandri S. Seismic vulnerability analysis of storage tanks for oil and gas industry. PST [Internet]. 2018Mar.31 [cited 2020Oct.31];2(1):55-6. Available from:


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steel storage tank, damage identification, seismic vulnerability analysis, numerical model

Original Work