• Client: EC - DG Energy
  • Implementation period: 2015 - 2016 (Completed)
  • Geographic coverage: European Union, Austria, Cyprus, Netherlands, Romania, Spain, United Kingdom

Are Member States able to ensure petroleum oil stocks to consumers in case of emergencies?

This project focused on the Directive 2009/119/EC, which gives the obligation to the EU Member States to hold emergency oil stocks aiming to ensure the continuity of supply of petroleum products to consumers in case of possible disruptions. It aimed at providing an independent evaluation of the functioning and the implementation of the Directive. As such, the impact of the Directive on the stockholding systems across Europe was assessed, as well as the extent of the main objectives of the Directive in EU Member States. Moreover, the report examined whether the differences between national stockholding systems have any negative consequences on for example security of oil supplies.

Among several other tasks, two online surveys were analysed as part of the project, as well as around 40 in-depth interviews with industry representatives, economic operators, OCG members and CSEs. Moreover, some of these interviews were conducted as part of six case studies, i.e. Austria, Cyprus, the Netherlands, Romania, Spain, and the UK. These case studies focused on four different themes:

  • The availability of emergency stocks;
  • The justification for the 10% reduction;
  • Cross-border stocks and cross-border tickets; and
  • Emergency release mechanism.
Level of stocks vs obligation in December 2014

The findings presented in this report indicate that, in general terms, Directive 2009/119 can be evaluated positively:

  • The rationale for EU legislation imposing an obligation on Member States to maintain minimum stocks of crude oil and petroleum products is not contested and most stakeholders consider that the Directive adds value compared to relying on IEA regulation only.
  • A large majority of the stakeholders consider that Directive 2009/119 enhanced the quality and credibility of the overall emergency oil stockholding system and that Directive 2009/119 is an improvement compared to the previous legislative acts that were repealed by the Directive.
  • The objectives of the Directive have been largely, and at least partially, achieved.