Ireland holds public stocks and places no separate compulsory stock obligations on industry.
Since 1995, the responsibility for maintaining Ireland's compulsory stock obligations has rested with the National Oil Reserves Agency (NORA, which acts as an agent of the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. NORA holds compulsory strategic stocks, some of these in the form of tickets.
Oil companies that import oil or deliver products into the domestic market for consumption and large oil consumers are expected to hold "prudent" levels of operating stocks. However, these operators are not required to hold any compulsory stocks.
NORA may hold its stocks in either crude oil or products, or as a combination of both. NORA holds all compulsory stock obligations in the form of finished products across the three classification categories used by the European Union.
Emergency stocks can be held in Ireland and/or in EU member countries with which a bilateral oil stockholding agreement has been concluded. The Irish authorities do not impose any restrictions as regards to the location of emergency stocks stored abroad under bilateral agreements. Ireland has formal bilateral stockholding agreements with Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
There is a commitment to rebalance Ireland's strategic oil reserve by maximising the country's wholly owned stocks of oil and the level of stocks held in Ireland, subject to increased storage availability and value-for-money considerations. This strategy is outlined in the government white paper, Delivering a Sustainable Energy Future for Ireland, launched on 1 October 2006.
More information on oil and gas emergency policy