Current Oil Storage Regulations // Octane Holding Group Ltd
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Current Oil Storage Regulations

Date: 20/01/2021

Oil Storage Regulations

For businesses, organisations or individuals storing oil on their premises, whether it is to be used for a fleet or to heat a premises, compliance with government regulations is pivotal to ensuring not only the safety of people and the environment, but also that they’re not fined or even prosecuted.

When an oil leak or spill occurs, they are tremendously hazardous to the surrounding environment. They pose an immediate risk to people in the area, as well as the wildlife and vegetation. Therefore, oil tanks need to be inspected and maintained to make sure they’re in prime condition and in compliance with regulations at all times. This is an Annual requirement.

The Environment Agency’s oil storage regulations of 2001 (England), storage containers with a capacity of 200 litres or more at an institute, commercial or industrial site, or capacity of 3500 litres or more at a domestic dwelling, must be stored in a bunded tank, bowser or other container (such as a drum or Intermediate Bulk Container), with a secondary containment of no less that 110% of the maximum contents.

Risk Assessment

The following risk assessment needs to be carried out if the tank:

At this point, your tank needs secondary containment in the form of a bunded tank or a bund built around the tank.


There are a few exceptions to these regulations, such as:

The regulations apply to all types of oil. This includes vegetable oils, biofuels, diesel and petrol, except waste oil within the meaning of regulation (13) of the Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994.

Oil storage tanks themselves must meet the prevailing British Standards and Oil Storage Regulations, which cover steel and polyethylene tanks. These regulations extend to where tanks are placed on a premises, maintenance of tanks, security, and issues regarding the delivery of oil, for instance drip trays and coupling points.

In the case of an accident, the regulations state that mobile bowsers must be designed in such a way that the oil will not leak from them. If these containers are being transported on road, they may come under additional regulations, including the Carriage of Dangerous Goods and may need to be covered by the ADR regulation.

It is a criminal offence to not comply with the oil storage regulations, with possible prosecution and potential fines up to £5,000. It is therefore in yours, and the wider environments best interest to carefully monitor your oil storage facilities at all times and carry out regular inspections.

If you think that your oil tank may be due for an inspection or you’re concerned that your tank might not conform to current regulations, contact us today.

Oil Storage