In March 2015 Barton Petroleum opened it’s newest depot in Moreton In Marsh in Gloucestershire.
The empty depot was discovered in July 2014 by Barton Petroleum’s business development manager Kevin Day who arranged for managing director Richard Burton to meet the site’s owner Bruce Woodall of Oil Tank Services (OTS).
Having previously run Barton Petroleum’s Oakley depot in Bedfordshire, Angelo Coletta became the manager of the company’s newest depot last June.
Upgrading and establishing the depot
Formerly operated by Countrywide Fuels, the depot had nine existing tanks – six upright and three horizontal – and an old loading gantry which was removed. Now branded Cotswold Petroleum all tanks have been refurbished and equipped with electronic metering by OTS which owns and operates its own business from the site. The tanks now provide storage for kerosene (165,000ltrs), gas oil (165,000ltrs), derv (110,000ltrs) and industrial heating oil (55,000ltrs).
A brand new IFC Inflow four-arm bottom loading skid with 3” flow meters was also installed and commissioned. A portable marketing suite currently serves as an office but with the construction of a new office block on site, the team are looking forward to sharing facilities with OTS. Assisting Angelo are his wife Jan and Geoff Lines and drivers Rob Johnson, Michael Blanche and Steve Sparrow.
Initially, the depot operated with two rebranded tankers sourced from the Oakley and Watford depots but now the fleet of four includes a brand new 4-wheeler from Road Tankers Northern and a Mitsubishi 4×4 truck with an 800 litre tank; both have Alpeco equipment and feature a rural Cotswold view wrap. The smaller vehicle has a weights & measures pump to dispense kerosene and red diesel.
Spreading the word
With 15 years’ experience in fuel distribution to assist with the development of the new business, Fuel Oil News editor Jane Hughes asked Angelo how things were progressing.
“We started off by picking up the phone; contacting the area’s oil buying groups; knocking on doors; doing leaflet drops and placing advertisements in local magazines,” said Angelo.
“Our aim was to encourage people to try our service and, if content, help spread the news of our arrival by word of mouth. Many people to whom we spoke complained of previous poor service levels, it was therefore very important that we were absolutely honest about our capabilities, demonstrated a good level of service and didn’t let people down. Feedback has been good.
“Although it’s taken a while to get on their approved supplier lists, we’ve found the area’s oil buying groups, which are particularly strong here, to be very receptive to a newcomer especially one that’s a family business.”
Looking towards the area’s large agricultural market, Cotswold took the opportunity to exhibit at the Moreton in Marsh show last September.
“The Moreton show really put us on the radar,” said Angelo. “We showcased our home heating oil, farm fuels, commercial fuels & lubricants to the community along with emergency fuel supplies with a same or next day service. Having tried us out it was good to have people say ‘you’re the people to deal with’ and we’ve been really pleased with the growth of customers in this market.
The next steps
“In the near future, offering AdBlue and furthering sales of industrial heating oil is on the agenda. Since introducing the latter at Oakley we’ve sold over 22m litres; it’s ideal for schools and estate houses as it can save on heating costs and it’s also good for drain dryers. It’s also our intention to attain the FPS Fuel Quality Accreditation certificate which gives independent proof of the quality of fuels being distributed from this depot.
“Within 5 years our aim is to double our fleet of vehicles, employ more sales people and expand our geographical reach,” added Angelo.
Fuel Oil News also spoke with Barton Petroleum’s managing director Richard Burton who said: “Like our other depots in Oakley, Watford, Wellingborough and Queniborough, we want Cotswold Petroleum to be very much a part of the local community.”