Germany's stockholding agency, the Erdolbevorratungsverband (EBV), holds all compulsory stocks.

In 1978, Germany established a public stockholding organisation - the EBV. The Oil Stockholding Law requires the EBV to hold stocks equivalent to 90 days of net imports and of processed volumes of the main products (gasolines, middle distillates and fuel oils). These requirements comply with EU legislation and IEA commitments. The 90-days equivalent of the quantities of refinery output and net imports of major oil products is calculated on the average amounts of the three preceding calendar years, or during the last year, whichever figure is larger. Membership in the EBV agency is compulsory for refiners and importers.

The EBV holds 45% of its stocks in the form of crude oil and 55% as product. The EBV owns more than 90% of its stocks. The remaining stock (maximum 10%) may be "delegated" to the EBV by oil industry operators. Such stocks are generally stored in clearly marked tanks at common storage farms; the leasing company cannot transfer the oil without the written consent of the EBV. Some EBV stocks are stored in commercial tank farms in separate tanks (i.e. they are not co-mingled with industry operational stocks). All the EBV owned and "delegated" stocks are fully available in a crisis and can be quickly passed into the normal distribution chain for delivery to consumers (products) or refiners (crude oil).

By law, EBV stocks must be distributed evenly throughout the regions of Germany. The EBV is required to hold a minimum of 15-days supply of finished products in each region. In practice, almost half of all stocks are stored in Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen). This region has substantial salt cavern facilities that allow for relatively cheap, long-term storage. Emergency transportation capacities exist between regions, although there is no pipeline infrastructure connecting the western and the eastern parts of the country.

Almost 100% of Germany's compulsory stocks are held within its national territory, although the EBV occasionally holds very small amounts in other countries. In principle, Germany allows stock tickets arrangements, but for products only and restricted to a maximum of 10% of the stockholding obligations.

In order to meet its stockholding obligations, the EBV owns part of Germany's storage facilities (mainly those underground). However, it still rents most of its storage capacity. In total, the EBV uses about 200 mb (32 mcm) of storage, of which salt caverns account for 60% and tank farms for 40%.


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