How Much Does Oil Tank Removal Cost?

Typical Range:

$578 - $2,037

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 768 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated August 15, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

The average oil tank removal cost is $1,294, with a typical range of between $578 and $2,037. Prices vary depending on where the tank is positioned. You could pay as little as $300 if your tank is above-ground and as much as $3,500 if it’s belowground. If the oil tank has leaked, soil testing and environmental remediation can add $1,000 to $10,000 or more to your budget.

Average Cost to Remove Oil Tank

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National Average $1,294
Typical Range $578 - $2,037
Low End - High End $300 - $4,625

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 768 HomeAdvisor members.

Oil Tank Removal Costs by Type

Some tanks are buried underground, while others are above-ground. Some can even be stored in the basement. Each type of tank costs a different amount to remove, with those buried underground typically costing more.

Type of Tank Average Cost Range for Tank Removal
Underground $1,000 – $3,500
Basement $500 – $1,500
Above-ground $300 – $1,000

Underground Oil Tank Removal Cost

Underground tank removal costs between $1,000 and $3,500. This type of tank requires excavation costs, which can account for up to half of your bill. Prices can also vary depending on the type of surface. The harder the surface where the tank is buried, the more you're likely to pay for its removal.

Basement Oil Tank Removal Cost

Removing a basement oil tank costs anywhere from $500 to $1,500. For tanks buried at least halfway, expect to pay $2,500 or more. The contractor needs to first dismantle and partially demolish the tank in your basement to fit the pieces through a window or out a door. As long as the tank hasn’t leaked, you won’t need to do extensive soil testing or remediation.

Above-Ground Oil Tank Removal Cost

The average cost to remove an above-ground oil tank runs between $300 and $1,000. Some significant factors that affect how much you pay are listed below:

  • Current oil in tank: If there’s unused oil in the tank, it'll need removal and disposal, which could increase the price.

  • Site accessibility: Accessibility will also affect how much you pay. For example, expect to pay more if you need to remove fencing and other structures first to gain access to the tank.

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Oil Tank Removal Costs by Size

The cost of removing an oil tank also varies depending on its size. Larger tanks require more time and effort to remove. Some might also require special equipment, which will add to the project's total cost. Smaller tanks are less costly because they take less time and effort to remove and may not need special tools.

Tank Size in Gallons Average Cost Range for Removal
550 or less $1,000 – $2,000
1,000 $1,600 – $2,500
1,500 $2,200 – $2,700
2,000 $2,400 – $2,900
3,000 $3,000+
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Oil Tank Abandonment or Decommissioning Costs

Abandonment, sometimes referred to as "decommissioning," leaves the tank in place but cleans it, fills it with concrete or foam, and tests the underlying and surrounding soil. This helps avoid the expense and complexity of removing the tank and transporting it off-site. The average oil tank abandonment cost can range from $1,000 to $3,000 or more, depending on the tank size. 

The purpose of filling the tank is to prevent its eventual collapse and the subsidence of the surface above it. You have three main filling options:

  • Foam: It reaches more areas of the tank than concrete or sand. It’s mixed in a truck and uses a wand at the end of a long hose, so it’s easy to fill in hard-to-reach places, like a basement.

  • Concrete slurry: This is typically a mixture of various quantities of Portland cement, water, and selected aggregate materials. Its primary advantages are its high density and ease of handling. The slurry is semi-liquid in nature, allowing it to fill the tank evenly and completely.

  • Sand: Sand has traditionally been the filler material of choice due to its low cost and availability. But it’s harder to fill all tank voids and connecting lines, so it's rarely used now, with most homeowners preferring foam and concrete slurry.

The process of abandoning a tank generally follows these steps:

  • Evacuate and cut out the tank lightly to access it.

  • Drain and wash the inside.

  • Cut holes (also called “coupons”) through the bottom of the tank to test the soil.

  • Fill with foam or concrete.

Heating Oil Tank Removal Costs Near You

The average oil tank removal cost is higher in some states than others. If you live in any of the areas below, here's how much you can expect to pay to remove a 550-gallon oil tank.

State Average Cost Range to Remove a 550-Gallon Oil Tank
Connecticut$2,150 – $2,350
Illinois$1,650 – $1,800
Minnesota$1,650 – $1,850
New Jersey$2,100 – $2,300
New York$2,150 – $2,400
Oregon$1,850 – $2,050
Pennsylvania$1,650 – $1,800
Tennessee $1,450 – $1,650
Washington$1,700 – $1,900

Other Underground Storage Tank Removal Costs

Other types of underground storage tanks are gas tanks and water tanks. Generally, to estimate the cost of removing any underground storage tank, think fuel versus water. The largest price difference is whether it’s storing hazardous materials. 

Water or fuel tank replacement costs $1,600 to $2,730 on average. You might consider replacing your old fuel tank with a new one rather than just removing it since you'll already have the hole open, and it'll require far less work than doing removal and installation separately.

Gas Tank

The cost of removing an underground gas tank ranges from $1,000 to $3,000 or more. It has the same cost factors as an oil tank. If the tank leaks, you'll need soil testing and possible treatment of the ground around the tank. This issue is less likely with gas than oil.

Water Tank

Water tank removal costs around $300 to $1,500 or more. Since they don’t contain any hazardous chemicals or fuels, you don’t need to do any soil testing or remediation. Because of this, it may be less expensive to leave hard-to-access or cost-prohibitive water tanks in place. If you’re worried about ground stability, you can have them filled with concrete or foam.

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Other Storage Tank Removal Cost Factors

Size is usually the biggest cost factor for removing an underground oil tank. However, several other factors can add more time to the process of getting the tank out of the ground and thus increase the overall costs. Here are the top three.

  • Remaining fuel in the tank: If there's unused oil in the tank you need to remove first, the total cost can rise. How much you'll pay depends on the amount of oil. Prices will also vary by town and city, but expect to pay anywhere from $10–$70 per lb. or oz., including service fees.

  • Accessibility: The easier it is to access and get earth-moving machinery, the less you'll pay.

  • Soil testing and remediation: If your tank leaks, soil testing and possibly ground remediation might be required. Soil testing costs around $500–$1,800, while remediation costs around $500–$10,000.

DIY Residential Storage Tank Removal vs. Hire a Pro

DIY oil tank removal can be dangerous if you’re not properly equipped and trained. Most states require a special permit for the removal of an oil tank.

The environmental implications of the process mean it's a job best left to the professionals. Experienced pros ensure that removal complies with all regulations regarding potential soil and water contamination and the disposal of leftover fuel and contaminated tank parts. Find an oil tank removal service for an inspection and quote.

FAQs

Why would I need to remove a storage tank?

You might need to remove a storage tank for a variety of reasons, including the following:

  • Government regulation: Some locations require the removal of tanks past their life span.

  • Safety: Hazardous substances can get into the soil and contaminate drinking water.

  • House sale: In some places, house sales require oil tank reporting. In some cases, a municipality may block property sales until they can certify removal or abandonment. You often only need an inspection to ensure it isn't leaking.

Does homeowners insurance cover oil tank removal?

Most homeowners insurance policies don't cover oil tank removal. There could be some exceptions, so check your policy closely or talk to your insurance agent to find out if yours will. You can amend some homeowners insurance policies to cover the cost of removal if there's a leak. You can also take out a special oil tank insurance policy to cover oil tank removal and replacement.

How do you dispose of an oil tank?

One option for disposing of an oil tank is to take it to a dismantling yard or salvage yard for recycling. If a salvage yard isn’t an option, you can also contact a local landfill for more information. Typically, you’ll need to show there’s no sludge or residue in the tank. A local oil tank removal service can help find a proper disposal location for your tank.

How can I tell if my oil tank is leaking?

You can tell your oil tank is leaking by these signs:

  • Rising energy bills

  • Oil-like smell around your yard

  • Oil-like sheen on the groundwater

  • Oil spots around your property

  • Dying plants

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