EU agrees on emergency oil stocks
European Union (EU) energy ministers reached a political agreement on rules obliging an EU member state to maintain
minimum stocks of crude oil and/or petroleum products in the 27-member European block.
"Thanks to the directive, oil stocks will be more transparent and more precise information will be available on existing stocks of crude oil and petroleum products. This will enhance Europe's energy security in the event of a major disruption of oil supplies", the Czech Industry and Trade Minister whose country holds the current EU Presidency, told after the meeting.
On his part, EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, said the agreement "gives us very clear tools to react in case
of supply disruptions of oil or oil products inside the EU, but also to act as a community in the cases of global
disruptions of oil supply".
Under the new system, total oil stocks maintained by EU member states must equal at least 90 days of average net imports or 61 days of average daily consumption, whicheveris the greater. Of this amount, a third must be held in the form of refined products.
EU member states must have contingency plans and efficient procedures to release stocks rapidly and transparently in
a crisis situation.
Oil stocks can be held at any location across the EU as long as they are physically accessible and fully available. They can also be held in another EU member state's territory, if agreed by the member state on whose behalf the stocks are being kept.