We use cookies to collect and analyse information on site performance and usage to improve and customise your experience, where applicable. View our Cookies Policy. Click Accept and continue to use our website or Manage to review and update your preferences.

Bill to boost ability to respond to oil crunch
Pic: RollingNews.ie

06 Jan 2023 / legislation Print

Bill aims to bolster response to oil crunch

The Government has backed the publication of a bill aimed at strengthening the State’s capacity to manage oil supplies.

The Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications said that there were no concerns at the moment, as supply and prices had been steady in recent months.

It added that the Oil Emergency Contingency and Transfer of Renewable Transport Fuels Functions Bill 2022 was in line with the response from other EU states to the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on energy prices.

The State’s National Oil Reserves Agency (NORA) holds around 85 days of strategic stocks. This figure is usually 90 days, but some NORA stocks were released in March and April last year as part of co-ordinated global releases of reserves agreed by members of the International Energy Agency.

NORA’s holding is expected to be back up at 90 days by the end of January.

Register of oil suppliers

The key measures being introduced in the bill include:

  • More clarity on the powers of the minister, and how quickly they can be deployed, to control the supply and distribution of fuel in an emergency,
  • Putting all aspects of oil-emergency planning on a statutory footing,
  • Establishing a register of oil suppliers to ensure fast communication to retailers,
  • Allowing Revenue to share data on oil movements, in order to enhance the responsiveness of the State in an emergency.

Welcoming Government approval, environment minister Eamon Ryan described the bill as part of a range of initiatives being developed to ensure the security of Ireland’s energy supply in the near future.

“Our long-term priority, however, and the best approach for Ireland, is to insulate consumers from volatility on international wholesale energy markets by investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy, expanding interconnection with European markets, and deepening internal market integration,” he said.

Targets for bio-fuels

The bill also provides for the formal transfer of functions linked to renewable transport fuels, from the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications to the Department of Transport.

New legal provisions in the bill will also support measures aimed at achieving targets for bio-fuels set out in the Government’s climate-action plan.

The department says that these provisions will incentivise higher blends of bio-fuel ethanol in petrol, and bio-diesel in diesel consumption, as well as boosting the supply of renewable transport fuels, such as HVO, biomethane, and green hydrogen.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland