The European Commission (EC) formally requested Romania on Thursday to ensure the correct implementation and application of the Oil Stocks Directive (Council Directive 2009/119/EC), the press release informs.
The EU rules impose an obligation on Member States to maintain minimum stocks of crude oil and/or petroleum products, which must be available at all times, and, therefore, gives security of supply of petroleum resources to the EU.
“The current Romanian legislation prohibits the use of oil stocks as collaterals, i.e. assets offered to secure a loan. This prohibition could make it more difficult for economic operators to fulfil their obligation to hold stocks. Romania has also incorrectly implemented the rules concerning the right of economic operators to delegate their obligation to hold stocks and the establishment of emergency procedures in the event of a major supply disruption,” the quoted document reads, stressing that since compliance with EU law is not yet in place, the Commission is now sending a reasoned opinion.
Romania has two months to inform the Commission of the measures taken to remedy the situation; otherwise, the Commission may decide to refer the case to the Court of Justice of the EU.
Oil accounts for 34 percent of the EU’s energy mix. The EU does produce some of its own oil but most of its supplies are imported. With the majority of the EU’s transport fuels coming from oil and with some EU countries heavily reliant on the resource for heating and electricity, maintaining emergency stocks to be used in case of supply disruptions is vital.
Under the EU’s Oil Stocks Directive, EU countries must maintain emergency stocks of crude oil and/or petroleum products equal to at least 90 days of net imports or 61 days of consumption, whichever is higher. Stocks must be readily available so that in case of a crisis they can be allocated quickly to where they are most needed.