API 653 - Tank Inspection, Repair, Alteration, and Reconstruction

Last update: July 8, 2015

API 653, Tank Inspection, Repair, Alteration, and Reconstruction, is a standard developed and published by the American Petroleum Institute (API) and covers the inspection, repair, alteration, and reconstruction of steel aboveground storage tanks used in the petroleum and chemical industries. The first edition of API 653 was published in in January of 1991. The fifth and most recent edition of the standard was published in November of 2014.

The requirements put forth by API 653 are meant to cover those steel storage tanks that constructed under the standards of API 650 and it’s predecessor API 12C. If there are any conflicts found between this standard and those, API 653 is to take precedence. While it was specifically written to apply to those tanks constructed under API 650 and API 12C, it can be applied to tanks constructed under other standards as well at the owner’s discretion.

This standard provides the minimum requirements for maintaining the integrity of welded or riveted, non-refrigerated and refrigerated, atmospheric pressure, aboveground storage tanks after they have been placed into service. It only applies to maintaining the integrity of the foundation, bottom, shell, structure, roof, attached appurtenances, and nozzles to the face of the first flange, first threaded joint, or first welding-end connection of the tank.

The American Petroleum Institute offers API 653 certification training and exams for inspectors. To take the exam, a minimum amount of experience and education are required. It can vary, but in general the more highly educated one is, the less experience that is required of that person to qualify for the exam. Certification under API 653 is valid for a three year term at which point it needs to be renewed.


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Non-Intrusive Inspection of Above Ground Storage Tanks and Its Use in a Tank RBI Program
September/October 2013 Inspectioneering Journal
By Sam Ternowchek at Mistras Group

Maintaining the mechanical integrity of above ground storage tanks (AST’s) is the focal point of tank inspection programs. Performing internal inspections is an integral part of a tank integrity program, however, deciding when to take a tank out of service to perform an internal inspection is not an easy determination to make.

August 5, 2013

At PinnacleAIS, we often get requests for a Senior API Inspector. But what does that mean exactly? What qualifications are required? Is there a test or a certification that provides the end user with assurance they are getting a higher caliber inspector or inspection service? Often there are different ideas of what comprises a "Senior" Inspector.

July 15, 2013

This week’s post takes up right where last week’s post left off in our discussion on Corrosion Management and Control (CM&C) Management Systems. As I have said previously, this information is based off a series of articles I did on PEI&R MS, which you can reference here. Here are the last two Corrosion Management and Control Management Systems.

January/February 2013 Inspectioneering Journal
By John Reynolds at Intertek

A new API Individual Certification Program (ICP) will be offered soon to certify inspectors who perform quality assurance (QA) surveillance and inspection activities on new materials and equipment for the energy and chemical (E&C) industry. It is being developed by the API with the assistance of numerous, experienced subject matter experts (SMEs) involved in source inspection activities.

September/October 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
By P.E. Myers at Chevron Research & Technology Co.

Recently an unnecessary financial incident was caused as a result of an inadequate tank inspection and failure to recognize the hazards of rain entering leaking fixed roofs of storage tanks. A bolted bladder tank upgrade was scoped for miscellaneous repairs including a bladder replacement. The terminal requested a tank inspection but limited the inspection to only certain accessible portions of the tank. The job was then scoped and cost estimated. Later additional funds had to be allocated to fix unanticipated problems that the inspection failed to reveal. These problems included severe internal corrosion of the bladder ring and the entire second course, which now must be replaced, but which was unanticipated after the tank had been inspected and the job cost estimated.

July/August 2002 Inspectioneering Journal
By Philip Myers at Chevron Texaco

One of the most important steps involved with regard to tank inspection, using API Standard 653, is establishing the internal inspection interval. API 653 says, "Section Internal inspection is primarily required to: a. Ensure that the bottom is not severely corroded and leaking. b. Gather the data necessary for the minimum bottom and shell thickness 1 assessments detailed in Section 6. As applicable, these data shall also take into account external ultrasonic measurements made during in-service inspections (see 6.3.3).........."

May/June 1998 Inspectioneering Journal
By Roland A. Goodman at American Petroleum Institute

The API Subcommittees on Inspection and Pressure Vessels & Tanks are ever vigilant in keeping up with current trends and state-of-the-art technology for in-service inspection of pressure vessels, process piping, and aboveground storage tanks. One result of this effort is the recognition of risk-based inspection (RBI) methods by the API inspection codes (API 510, 570, and 653) as valid methodology for developing an inspection strategy.

March/April 1996 Inspectioneering Journal
By P.E. Myers at Chevron Research & Technology Co.

This case study is an example of an incident that started with a routine API 653 inspection and resulted in a very difficult repair to a tank bottom contaminated with hydrocarbons on the underside. This case highlights the potential risks with performing tank inspections and the consequences of poor inspection practices.

AIM Programs: Incorporation of all the Disciplines that Impact the Integrity of Infrastructure and Equipment
Partner Content

The goal of asset management is to effectively manage corporate assets in order to gain maximum value, profitability and returns, while safeguarding personnel, the community, and the environment. A true Asset Integrity Management program incorporates...

March/April 1996 Inspectioneering Journal
By Steven L. Braune, P.E. at AEC Engineering, Inc.

Since the publication of API Standard 653, Tank Inspection, Repair, Alteration and Reconstruction in early 1991 it has gained wide acceptance within the petroleum and chemical industries. In addition, six states (Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington) have referred to or incorporated API-653 into their petroleum AST regulations. At the very least, API-653 has become the new buzz word throughout the industry and the phrase "inspected in conformance with API-653" is tossed around freely in most inquiries for inspection services.