Big in Japan: A Unique Oil Storage Solution

Published in Discoveries. ∼ Updated Jul 11, 2020

“Buy land, they’re not making it anymore”. A famous quote by Mark Twain.

But… What if there isn’t enough land to buy?… What if the land itself is too unstable on account of earthquakes, typhoons and tsunamis?… What if you’re having trouble tucking aside 90 days of oil consumption in storage on account of all this?

Well, Japan has a solution, and it’s BIG! It’s so big that it’s visible by the naked eye from space.

See it?… No?

There! Much better!

This is the Kamigoto oil storage, tethered to the Ore Island in the Nagasaki prefecture.

These five storage containers are constructed as floating boxes, measuring 400 meters in length, 100 in width and 30 in depth. EACH ONE CAN HOLD OVER 5.5 MILLION BARRELS; or a total of 27.5 million barrels! This year, Japan is refining 3.17 million barrels per day, so these five tanks should last them nearly 9 days. As you can see from the construction, they have man-made barriers to prevent oil spills while using natural barriers and additional walls to prevent tsunamis and typhoons from rocking them out of place. Everything looks so immaculate.

If you think Kamigoto is cool, then check out Shirashima! 8 TANKS OF AWESOMENESS, storing 35 million barrels!

Now think about all the places in the world where something like this would make sense for a number of reasons; be it geographic, logistic or on account of security. A permanent floating storage offers a great deal of flexibility and expansion possibilities, particularly in developing nations or unstable/limited terrains with access to water.

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