EU emergency oil stocks still low in July after IEA’s joint releases

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 (Reuters) – The European Union’s emergency oil stocks, including crude oil and petroleum products, recovered slightly in July after two coordinated releases drained the levels to a record low in June, the bloc’s statistic office said.

The EU held 103.6 million tonnes of emergency oil stocks in July, up 2.5% from the historical low of 101.1 million tonnes in June, Eurostat data showed. This was still 3.7% lower than in July 2021.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has placed heavy demands on global oil markets, increasing price volatility. To stabilise the market, the International Energy Agency (IEA) allowed two emergency oil stock releases in March and April.

Eighteen EU member states took part in the joint action that totalled at 182.7 million barrels, the largest release in the IEA’s history, said Eurostat.

The data showed that Germany, France and Spain were the member states with the largest emergency stocks in July, followed by Italy and Poland.

Current emergency stocks are mostly composed of crude oil at 45.5 million tonnes, gas and diesel oil at 35.9 million tonnes, and gasoline at 9.8 million tonnes, Eurostat said.

Nearly 11% of the EU countries’ emergency stocks were held in other member states. The country with the biggest share held abroad was Luxembourg at 87%, followed by Malta’s 84.4% and Belgium’s 49.3%.

Commercial oil stocks, held by economic operators for their own operational and commercial needs as well as emergency use, made up 33.1%, or 51.4 million tonnes, of the bloc’s total.

The countries with biggest commercial stocks were Germany with 9.3 million tonnes, the Netherlands with 8.9 million tonnes, and Italy with 5.8 million tonnes, Eurostat said.

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