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Frequently Asked Questions

Petrol Pump

What is the National Oil Reserves Agency (NORA)?

What is NORA's function during an oil supply disruption?

Who authorises the release of NORA stocks?

How will the oil, held by NORA, be supplied to the market?

Where are NORA's oil stocks stored?

What is the Irish Petroleum Industry Association (IPIA)?

What role does the International Energy Agency (IEA) have?

What role does the European Union (EU) have?

What is Ireland's Current Stock Level?

How much oil do we consume in Ireland?

Where does Ireland usually source its oil?

 

What is the National Oil Reserves Agency (NORA)?

NORA is a non-commercial State owned company with responsibility for holding Ireland's oil stocks for supply in an emergency.  For more information, visit NORA's website. 
 

What is NORA's function during an oil supply disruption?

At the direction of the Minister, and where relevant, in co-operation with the EU and the IEA, NORA will manage the release and sale of Ireland's emergency oil stocks to the market (nationally or internationally) in the event of a disruption to oil supplies.

NORA will work in close liaison with the Department of Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE) and the oil industry to manage the availability and ongoing supply of oil via the market to consumers. 
 

Who authorises the release of NORA stocks?

The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment authorises the release of NORA stocks by written direction in accordance with Section 35 of the 2007 NORA Act.

Following consultation by DCCAE with NORA and the oil industry in Ireland, and having informed and/or consulted with the EU and IEA as appropriate, the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment will authorise the release of NORA stocks. The amount of oil to be released will depend on the extent, nature and likely duration of the oil supply disruption. 
 

How will the oil, held by NORA, be supplied to the market?

NORA stocks will be offered for sale to all oil companies who currently pay the NORA levy in direct proportion to their respective market shares. In this way, each company will receive stocks in proportion to their normal levels of supply, and will be in a position to maintain supply to their customers through the normal distribution channels. 
 

Where are NORA's oil stocks stored?

Stocks owned by NORA are stored in oil storage facilities in Ireland and in other EU Member States with whom Ireland has concluded an Oil Stocks Agreement. Currently, NORA holds 67% of its total stocks on the island of Ireland, and the balance held as physical stock abroad. NORA currently stores a range of oil products – Petrol, Diesel, Gas Oil, Kerosene and Jet Fuel in oil storage facilities located in key ports in Ireland. 
 

What is the Irish Petroleum Industry Association (IPIA)?

IPIA is the representative body of those companies in Ireland engaged in the importation, distribution and marketing of petroleum products. Its membership represents the majority of the oil industry in Ireland. If an oil disruption occurs the DCCAE will engage with IPIA as the representative body for the industry.
 

What role does the International Energy Agency (IEA) have?

The IEA was founded in response to the 1973/1974 oil crisis. Its role is to help countries coordinate a collective response to major disruptions in oil supply through the release of strategic oil stocks to the markets. Participating countries agree to take specific measures to meet oil supply emergencies, including the holding of emergency/strategic stocks, and participation in "collective action" if necessary.
 

What role does the European Union (EU) have?

The EU monitors the levels of Strategic Stocks held by Member States to ensure they are meeting the requirements set out in the Oil Stocks Directive (Directive 2009/119/EC). Under this Directive, Ireland is required to maintain 90 days of the previous year's net imports of oil stocks and these must be physically accessible and available for use in the event of a supply disruption.

What Government Department has overall responsibility for the management of oil supplies in the event of a disruption to Ireland's oil supply?

The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment is the lead Department with responsibility for the management of oil supplies in the event of a supply disruption.
 

What is Ireland's Current Stock Level?

Details of the number of days of oil stocks held by Ireland and other IEA member countries can be found on the International Energy Agency website.
 

How much oil do we consume in Ireland?

The Sustainable Energy Agency of Ireland (SEAI) compiles statistical reports on fuel consumption. For more information visit SEAI's website.
 

Where does Ireland usually source its oil?

While Ireland sources its oil products from a number of countries including the UK, Norway and Denmark, the vast majority of our oil products come from the UK. Approximately 30-40% (excluding jet kerosene) of our oil is imported in crude form and refined at Whitegate Refinery in Cork. This oil comes from various locations where light/sweet (low density/low sulphur) crude is found (e.g. the North Sea, North Africa and West Africa).