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EU Energy Shortages

Trade and Industry written question – answered on 4th May 2006.

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Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Shadow Minister (14-19 Reform and Apprenticeships)

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether the UK is under an obligation to share national oil (a) stocks and (b) reserves in the event of energy shortages in the EU.

Photo of Malcolm Wicks Malcolm Wicks Minister for energy, Department of Trade and Industry

The UK is obliged as a member state of the European Union to hold emergency stocks of oil equivalent to 67.5 days' annual consumption for use in the event of disruption, and as a member of the International Energy Agency to take part in any collective response to disruption. The purpose of both these obligations is to enable a release of stocks onto the global oil market when there is collective agreement that this is necessary. The release of stocks following Hurricane Katrina by EU and other states, co-ordinated through the IEA, showed that the system was able to respond well to the disruption which occurred.

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