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Oil: Reserves

Volume 490: debated on Thursday 26 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the Answer of 18 March 2009, Official Report, columns 1239-40W, on oil: reserves, what quantities of the 11.1 million tonnes of oil are stored in which countries. (266395)

Under EU Council Directive 2006/67/EC, member states of the European Union (EU) can hold stocks of petroleum products on behalf of each other in order to meet their oil stocking obligation.

The UK has bilateral agreements with Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Sweden where they can hold stocks on behalf of UK companies and UK companies can hold stocks on their behalf. The UK also has an agreement with New Zealand under which UK companies may hold stocks on behalf of the New Zealand Government.

Bilateral agreements are negotiated in advance for each calendar quarter. The following table shows the net stocks held under bilateral agreements between January to March 2009; This shows that of the 11.1 million tonnes of oil, 2.5 million are held overseas.

Net stocks held under bilateral agreements in QI 2009

Country

Volume (million tonnes)

Belgium

0.215

Denmark

0.259

France

0.088

Ireland

-0.307

Netherlands

1.536

New-Zealand

-0.035

Sweden

0.745