You are here:

Oil Security Policy

Image of oil pipeline

​National Strategic Oil Stocks

Ireland's International Obligations to hold Oil Stocks

Arising from Ireland’s membership of both the European Union (EU) and the International Energy Agency (IEA), Ireland has obligations to maintain 90 day reserves of national strategic oil stocks.

Ireland is also obliged to maintain contingency plans, including arrangements for the release of national oil reserves, to minimise the adverse effects of a major oil shortage within the framework of a co-ordinated international response.
Ireland meets its EU and IEA obligations through a combination of:

  • stocks owned and held by the National Oil Reserves Agency (NORA) (either in Ireland or abroad), and
  • stocks covered by NORA under short-term commercial contracts (either at home or abroad) with an option to purchase, in emergency circumstances, during the period of the contract ("stock tickets").

Strategic Objectives

  • We devise appropriate structural and resource arrangements for NORA so that national and international oil stockholding requirements can be consistently met.
  • We ensure effective operation of the NORA levy.
  • We maintain oil stockholding Agreements with relevant EU member States in order to facilitate holding NORA stocks abroad. Ireland currently holds oil stock agreements with Denmark, France, UK, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Germany.
  • We participate in the formulation of EU/IEA policy, information and decision making activities regarding oil stockholding and contingency issues.
  • We develop oil emergency plans for Ireland.
  • We are responsible for the Corporate Governance in relation to the Irish National Petroleum Corporation and the National Oil Reserves Agency, the latter being the body having operational responsibility for maintaining Ireland's strategic oil reserves.