Types of Oil Storage Tanks


Regulations for oil tanks and storage vary by state and country. Oil tanks are designed to safely store fuel. Leaks are expensive to clean up and cause environmental damage. Oil tanks should be inspected annually.


  • There are two broad types of oil tanks, those that are above ground and those that are below ground. They are usually made of steel or plastic.


  • Plastic oil tanks are usually made of green-molded polyethylene. Steel tanks are made of fabricated steel lined with a coating to repel the oil.


  • Oil tanks can be single-skinned, meaning there is a one-layer wall. They can be integrally bundled, meaning there is a second tank attached or they can be double-skinned, meaning there is a two-layer wall.


  • Pipes are made of plastic coated with copper. For safety, underground oil pipes should be marked with flags or tape. Oil tanks are fitted with vents, a content gauge, an isolation valve and an overfill alarm.


  • Oil is flammable. Do not use open flames near an oil tank. Inhaling oil vapor can be lethal. Wash skin immediately if it comes into contact with oil. Never tip, move or climb on an oil tank.

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