Hidden WWII Fuel Storage Tanks| Darwin Australia | 5K [2022]

Discussion in 'Australian' started by NT_Australia, Mar 21, 2022.

  1. NT_Australia

    NT_Australia Member

    Its 1943. Its hot. The terrain steep. The conditions are not much better.

    And you and your team need to build 5 oil tanks.

    Welcome to Darwin!

    These five storage tanks are located at different locations along the Darwin cliff face. 1 Located in Larrakeyah, another at Doctors Gully and 3 along the Bicentennial Park. Get up close like no one has before and view these grand tanks.

    One (at Doctors Gully) was even transferred into a rock climbing facility - The Rock Centre!
    CL1 likes this.
  2. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron


    A few questions: 1) are they all steel tanks? Or was concrete used? 2) what size are they, how much fuel could they store? 3) used post-war? 4) where is the connection to the transport system to fill / empty them? Usually some form of jetty to deep enough water to offload from a tanker and finally 5) where did Australia and its allies in WW2 get their oil from? I assume it came before the war from the Netherlands East Indies.

    I have been to a couple of similar oil storage sites over the years: Lyness on the Orkneys (for Scapa Flow RN base), a site on the Firth of Forth (name lost) and the NATO (UK MoD) site on Loch Long (still in use): Finnart Oil Terminal - Wikipedia

    SubBrit have several articles from memory on their website on such facilities, inland and coastal.

    Tunnels too at Darwin, never used though: WWII Navy Oil Storage Tunnels 5 & 6, Darwin
    NT_Australia likes this.
  3. Ewen Scott

    Ewen Scott Well-Known Member

    Some info here about construction etc.
    World War II Oil Storage Tunnels
    Safe Naval Oil Storage - Darwin, Northern Territory, Underground Oil Tunnels, built during WW2

    In 1936 the entire oil fuel storage for the Admiralty in Australia and New Zealand totalled “about” 120,000 tons all in above ground storage tanks with no plans to expand it. That was because they didn’t expect to need much south of Singapore with its 1,328,000 tons in above ground storage with another 500,000 tons underground planned at least some of which was in place by the time war with Japan broke out in Dec 1941.

    The 1942 Japanese air raids saw the destruction of 7 of the 11 above ground storage tanks at Darwin.

    Darwin had a tanker terminal next to the storage facilities to allow tankers to offload. But after 1942 its facilities were little used due to the proximity to Japanese airfields. The main Australian base for the various navies became Fremantle with a refuelling station (from tankers?) at Exmouth Gulf on the north-west Coast for those ships and submarines that needed it.

    Pre-war much of the oil for Australia came from the British owned Abadan refinery in the Persian Gulf as well as the DEI. After April 1942, while Abadan supplied the Middle East and India, Australia seems to have been supplied from US oilfields in California rather than from across the Indian Ocean. In 1945 British tankers joining the British Pacific Fleet were sailing empty from Britain to the Dutch West Indies, and picking up oil cargoes there to take through the Panama Canal and across the Pacific to Australia.

    In Britain the Admiralty had large oil stocks at most ports. In terms of underground storage in 1936 the position was as follows:-

    Felixstowe 150,000 planned
    Killingholme (on Humberside) 150,000 tons planned
    Rosyth 200,000 tons of existing storage to be put under concrete. This was carried out and was only demolished around the turn of this century.
    Invergorden & Lyness each planned for 200,000 tons
    Devonport, Portsmouth were to get 100,000 tons and Portland 75,000 tons
    Gibraltar already had 28,000 tons of protected storage
    Malta had 47,580 tons and was scheduled for another 38,000 tons
    Aden 192,000 tons of above ground storage was to get protection
    Hong Kong 27,000 tons of existing storage was to get protection.

    There was above ground storage as well in all these places.
    NT_Australia likes this.
  4. NT_Australia

    NT_Australia Member

    I will put up another video - might help.
  5. NT_Australia

    NT_Australia Member

    Fascinating. Thank you.
  6. Ewen Scott

    Ewen Scott Well-Known Member

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