Shell UK Oil has been fined £30,000 following a 3,500 litre fuel leak at a Bishops Stortford petrol station.

The leak from an underground storage tank at the oil company’s Oaklands Park site polluted environmentally sensitive ground water, a hearing at St Albans Crown Court was told.

Shell voluntarily reported the leak to the Environment Agency in March 2005 after staff had detected fuel odours when monitoring bore holes around the site. Engineers located the leak to an underground tank storing unleaded petrol.

A second leak at the same site was reported in July and taken into account by the court, which also ordered Shell to pay £5,608 in costs.