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Stocks of crude oil and petroleum products (from 2012)

In order to be able to mitigate a supply crisis, the European Union has revised the oil stockholding system. This revision concerns enhancing the system, bringing it into line with the existing rules of the International Energy Agency (IEA) and optimising administrative obligations in Member States.

ACT

Council Directive 2009/119/EC of 14 September 2009 imposing an obligation on Member States to maintain minimum stocks of crude oil and/or petroleum products.

SUMMARY

The new Directive lays down rules aimed at:

  • making oil supply in the Community more secure through reliable and transparent mechanisms based on solidarity amongst Member States;
  • maintaining minimum stocks of crude oil and/or petroleum products;
  • putting in place emergency procedures to be used in the event of a shortage.

Main provisions concerning emergency stocks

Member States must maintain a total level of oil stocks corresponding, at the very least, to 90 days of average daily net imports or 61 days of average daily inland consumption *, whichever of the two quantities is greater.

The average daily net imports are to be calculated on the basis of the method explained in Annex I of the Directive, whilst the procedure for calculating average daily inland consumption is given in Annex II. Annex III lays down the procedure for calculating stock levels.

Member States have an obligation to ensure that stocks are available and physically accessible. In this regard, they are responsible for putting in place arrangements for the identification, accounting and control of these stocks. A register containing information on emergency stocks (the location of the depot, refinery or storage facility, the quantities (involved, the owner of the stocks and their nature) should be established and continually updated. A summary copy of the register shall be sent to the European Commission once a year.

In order to maintain stocks, each Member State may set up a central stockholding entity (CSE)*in the Community, in the form of a non-profit making body or service. The CSE shall maintain oil stocks (including acquisition and management of these stocks). Under the conditions and limitations laid down by the Directive, CSEs and Member States may delegate part of the management of stocks to another Member State with stocks on its territory, to the CSE set up by the said Member State or to economic operators.

Under the conditions and limitations laid down by the Directive, Member States may authorise any economic operators upon whom they have imposed stockholding obligations to delegate part of these obligations to:

  • the CSE of the Member State in question;
  • one or several CSEs that have expressed a wish to maintain such stocks;
  • certain other economic operators which have surplus stocks.

Main provisions relating to specific stocks and other stocks of products

Each Member State is invited to commit to maintaining specific stocks. In this case, they must maintain a minimum level defined in terms of number of days of consumption. Specific stocks shall be owned by the Member State concerned or the CSE set up by it. Member States shall publish their decision to hold specific stocks in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Specific stocks shall be composed of one or several of the following products:

  • ethane;
  • LPG;
  • motor gasoline;
  • aviation gasoline;
  • gasoline-type jet fuel (naphtha-type jet fuel or JP4);
  • kerosene-type jet fuel;
  • other kerosene;
  • gas/diesel oil (distillate fuel oil);
  • fuel oil (high sulphur content and low sulphur content);
  • white spirit and SBP;
  • lubricants;
  • bitumen;
  • paraffin waxes;
  • petroleum coke.

Member States shall ensure that in total, for the reference year, the crude oil equivalent of the quantities consumed of products included in the categories used is at least equal to 75 % of inland consumption. If there is no commitment to maintain at least 30 days of specific stocks, Member States shall ensure that at least one third of their commitment is held in the form of products, under the conditions laid down by the Directive.

Biofuels*and additives*

When calculating stockholding obligations and stock levels actually maintained, biofuels and additives shall be taken into account only where they have been blended with the petroleum products concerned. Furthermore, under certain conditions, part of the biofuels and additives stored on the territory of the Member State in question may be taken into account when calculating stock levels actually maintained.

Emergency procedures

Member States must be able to release all or part of their emergency stocks and specific stocks if required. Contingency plans shall be developed. In the event of a major supply disruption, emergency procedures must be in place. Specific rules also apply according to whether or not there is an effective international decision to release stocks.

Context

Since the system for the management of oil stocks was flawed, the Commission considered it useful to revise Community stockholding mechanisms. Oil is now one of the European Union’s main energy resources and security of supply should be enhanced in order to avoid or mitigate a crisis in this sector.

The Directive repeals Directives 2006/67/EC and 73/238/EEC, as well as Decision 68/416/EEC.

Key terms of the Act
  • Inland consumption: means the total quantities, calculated according to Annex II, delivered within a country for both energy and non-energy use (see full definition in Article 2);
  • Central stockholding entity: means the body or service upon which powers may be conferred to act to acquire, maintain or sell oil stocks, including emergency stocks and specific stocks;

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Directive 2009/119/EC

29.10.2009

31.12.2012

OJ L 265 of 9.10.2009

Last updated: 16.11.2009
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