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Brussels, 15 December 2009

EU emergency oil stocks at comfortable levels

The European Commission held a meeting today in Brussels of the Oil Supply Group to discuss with Member States' experts EU emergency preparedness and confirms current levels of emergency oil stocks in Europe at 122 days of consumption, a figure well above the mandatory 90 days.

The European Commission called the Oil Supply Group meeting of experts to review the emergency preparedness of Member States with respect to oil and petroleum products at the start of the winter period. Member States reported having sufficient stocks at their disposal to assure the uninterrupted operation of their refining and distribution systems, even in case of a lasting supply disruption. Emergency oil stocks of crude and petroleum products for these occasions, maintained in conformity with EU legislation stand at present at 122 days of average consumption.

The Commission took advantage of the meeting to remind Member States of the importance of respecting stockholding obligations and reporting deadlines stemming from the European legislation on oil stocks. The Commission intends to continue enforcing the reporting discipline foreseen in the applicable legislation in order to ensure a constant clear picture on current stock levels.

The Commission also exchanged views with Member States on the implementation of the new oil stocks legislation, adopted by the EU in September this year 1 . The new directive, which is to be transposed into Member States' national laws by 31 December 2012, will bring the EU system of oil stocks closer to current international practices and strengthen the Community's capacity to use stocks effectively so as to minimize negative effects on consumers in case of a supply crisis.

The Oil Supply Group is set up by the applicable EU legislation dealing with measures to mitigate the effects of difficulties in the supply of crude oil and petroleum products. The Group, composed of Member State and Commission representatives, coordinates the response of Members States to possible disruptions of oil supplies.

1 :

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

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