Theft of oil

12 April 2023

Tips and advice to help protect oil from theft.

Close up of oil being poured from a bottle

Oil theft is increasing

Oil prices are reported to have hit a four-year high according to Bloomberg1. As the cost of oil rises so do heating oil thefts– having greatly increased in recent years
The first indication that a theft of oil has taken place is usually when the heating system doesn’t work.

How to prevent oil theft

There are some measures you can take to protect oil from theft:
  • Conceal the location of the tank – it should be away from any gates and out of sight of the road. 
  • Monitor the level of oil in your tank regularly.
  • If the tank is situated inside a building, make sure doors are locked securely at all times. 
  • Consider installing security lighting to cover the tank.
  • Ask nearby residents to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the Gardai
  • Padlock the valve. This may not always prevent thieves as they may smash the valve completely, but it can act as a visual deterrent.
  • Fit hoses with a hardened, flexible casing. This will make them harder for thieves to cut through.
  • Lock gates at night to make it more difficult for a thief to escape with oil.
  • Consider installing alarms or CCTV.

Oil storage regulations

You have a duty to avoid causing pollution and could be prosecuted for failure to do so if oil escapes from storage and damages the environment or other property.