Brussels, 20 February 2014
Security of supply: Commission is referring Cyprus to the Court for failing to transpose the EU rules on minimum oil reserves
The European Commission is referring Cyprus to the Court of Justice of the EU for failing to transpose the Oil Stocks Directive. The Directive requires Member States to maintain minimum stocks of crude oil and petroleum products to ensure security of oil supply in case of possible disruptions. The Directive had to be transposed by the Member States by 31 December 2012.
Günther Oettinger, the EU Energy Commissioner said: "It is essential that European businesses and households have energy available at all times. Given the importance of oil in the EU's energy mix, it is vital to guarantee consumers' access to petroleum products even in case of a supply crisis."
The Commission has addressed the issue of non-transposition by sending a letter of formal notice to Cyprus in January 2013 and a reasoned opinion in June 2013. Despite these infringement proceedings, Cyprus has to date not notified the Commission of any transposition measures.
The Commission is also examining the transposition situation in other Member States which have not informed us about the full transposition of the law. Therefore, today's Commission action might be complemented by further referrals to the Court over the next months.
Oil is the most important fuel in the EU energy mix: it represented 35% of gross inland consumption in 2011. In the case of Cyprus the share of oil in the gross inland consumption was 95%. Furthermore, 85% of the oil consumed in the EU is imported. With decreasing indigenous production this dependency is expected to increase further, exposing the EU to disruptions in the global oil market.
The Oil Stocks Directive requires Member States to maintain stocks of crude oil and/or petroleum products equivalent to at least 90 days of average daily net imports or 61 days of average daily inland consumption, whichever of the two quantities is greater. The directive brings the EU system of oil stocks closer to current international practices and strengthens the EU's capacity to use stocks effectively so as to minimize negative effects on consumers in case of a supply crisis.
The Oil Stocks Directive (2009/119/EC) can be consulted here.
Commission web page on Oil Stocks:
Current figures and infringements in general can be found at:
On the February infringement package decisions, see MEMO/14/116
On the general infringement procedure, see MEMO/12/12