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One oil depot deal, two clients, and £11.2m saved

Published: 8 August 2023

When a leading UK fuel supplier sold a selection of oil depots to a large multi-national, Adler and Allan delivered high-value benefits and cost savings on both sides of the contract.

Initially acting as the vendor’s environmental advisor, our data-led due diligence work convinced the buyer to appoint Adler and Allan to assess and remediate their new sites following the acquisition. The result was estate-wide compliance, millions saved, and not a single day of downtime.

Project overview

Prior to the purchase, ten high-risk sites were flagged and excluded by the buyer’s insurers. Hazardous contamination levels meant the locations would not be covered in the event of a pollution incident.

The seller faced a £12 million quote for clean-up costs from the original environmental consultant – and the buyer chanced exposure from ten out-of-policy sites.

Our solution

Adler and Allan brought all ten depots in line with environmental law at an £11.2 million saving. Our science-driven approach created an accurate picture of the estate – and led to a targeted action plan that supported the needs of all stakeholders.

  • Sites were evaluated and prioritised through a comprehensive investigation and risk assessment programme. Remediation was recommended only where needed.
  • Contamination was minimised to levels that no longer posed an unacceptable risk to human health, ecology, and sensitive groundwater sources.
  • Clear, concise reports tracked progress and demonstrated measurable risk reduction. Frequent ‘extra mile’ client, insurer, and legal team briefings directly impacted the decision to underwrite the ten precluded depots.
  • Our operational experience, specialist technical expertise, and in-depth site knowledge positioned Adler and Allan as the go-to environmental authority for all parties.

Investigation and assessment

Before and after the sale, Adler and Allan provided data, risk assessments, investigations, and monitoring activity to reveal the precise contamination hazards of each depot.

  • Prior to the purchase, we oversaw investigations by the buyer’s original environmental consultant, interpreting their results and impact on the acquisition.
  • Our experts shared contamination data to help the buyer define risk.
  • We also undertook compliance work evaluating discharges from each site, advising both parties on required permits.
  • Following the sale, specialist investigative activity included quantitative risk assessments, borehole drilling, soil and water sampling, and site modelling.
  • Sites were segmented according to specific clean-up requirements – from low-tech monitoring to full-scale remediation.
  • Four sites were proved to be low risk, eliminating unnecessary rehabilitation costs.
  • Additional depots were restored through minor oil recovery efforts.


Two locations presented more pressing risks to human health and water supply safety. Bespoke remediation programmes allowed our client to address critical issues without costly site closures.

  • Dual-phase vacuum extraction system removed dissolved phase contaminants, protecting area housing.
  • Pump and treat remediation system safeguarded a river flowing around the site boundary.
  • A series of abstraction wells and pipework removed oil floating on groundwater.
  • In excess of 1,000 litres of oil recovered across both depots within 12 months.

Outcome and results

Adler and Allan’s remediation programme lowered contamination to levels that no longer posed an unacceptable risk to sensitive receptors nearby.

  • £11.2 million savings on site investigation and remediation work.
  • Significantly reduced risk to depot operations and the local community.
  • All sites compliant with Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
  • Sites 100% operational and revenue-generating throughout the project.

The savings

1 of 1
  • £0m+
    Overall savings of £11.2m across site investigation and remediation
  • £0m
    Original competitor quote of £12 million for clean-up.
  • £0k
    Adler and Allan project costs of £800k.

The added benefits

  • Ten uninsurable depots moved in-policy
  • Safe, substantially de-risked sites for our client, significantly smaller pay-out risk for their insurers
  • Depots fully operational during remediation work, bringing in further revenue and cost savings
  • Ongoing, specialist protection against environmental harm to local water sources and residential areas
  • Reduced legal and financial liability for today and tomorrow

Keep your business compliant and protect the environment while reducing the risk of operational downtime

Find out how Adler & Allan reduce your risk and support you on your journey to Net-Zero through the management and maintenance of assets.

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