Spain holds public stocks and places a minimum stockholding obligation on industry.

CORES began operations on 31 March 1995, as a public corporation under the authority of the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade. However, it is not part of the general administrative structure of the state. CORES has compulsory membership for all companies authorised to distribute oil products in Spain.

CORES has three main roles:

  • To set up and manage strategic stocks (initially 30 days of Spain’s obligation, but increased to 45 days as of end-2007)
  • To monitor the minimum stockholding obligation of the industry (45 days by the end of 2007)
  • To store (for a fee) the compulsory stockholding of any retailer or importer lacking suitable storage capacity on Spanish territory

CORES is also responsible for setting fees (approved by the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade) collected from companies to finance its activities. From 2005 onwards, CORES also became responsible for monitoring minimum stocks of LPG and natural gas that are required to be held by operators in those sectors. However, CORES will not hold any strategic stocks of these fuels.

On the industry side, companies obliged to hold emergency stocks include refiners, wholesalers, retailers and some large consumers. Retailers and large consumers have an obligation only if they buy from companies that do not have an obligation to hold emergency stocks themselves. Basically, this means that retailers and large consumers have an obligation as far as they directly import oil products.

Parties subject to compulsory stock obligations are supposed to hold their strategic reserves as products. However, they have the option of holding stocks in the form of crude oil or semi-finished products, up to a maximum of 40% of both EU categories I and II (gasoline and distillates) and up to a maximum of 50% of EU category III (fuel oil).

CORES is required to guarantee that the quality of products stocks held as strategic reserves are suitable for consumption in their appropriate end-uses, and to ensure that prevailing product specifications are fully met.

CORES is required to ensure that strategic stocks are distributed geographically such that they are able to reach consumption centres continuously for 45 days.

Spain has bilateral agreements with France, Italy and Portugal, thereby allowing Spanish operators to place part of their security stocks within these territories. The amount of emergency reserves a company can hold abroad is limited to 15% of its obligation.

More information on oil and gas emergency policy

See Closing Oil Stock Levels in days of Net Imports