As ministers from across the EU-27 meet for the Informal Energy Council on 6-7 September, the oil refining industry urges them to recognise refining as an essential element of energy infrastructure and ensure that the Communication on Energy infrastructure includes oil pipelines and refining as a vital part of the supply chain for refined products.
Transportation networks are essential for all energies and we welcome the proposal to include oil transporting infrastructure with a transnational dimension. However, unlike electricity and gas, oil cannot be used as such and needs to be refined into oil products to be used by consumers.
The most ambitious forecasts from the International Energy Agency (IEA) are that oil will continue to play an important role in the EU’s energy mix, accounting for almost one third of energy demand and 80% of transport fuels in 2030.
Oil refining is and will remain a strategic European asset, contributing to both EU mobility and economic value, and it is also an essential element in enabling the transition to a resource-efficient society by supporting the economy and developing the energy products of the future.
A robust domestic refining industry will bring key value in a number of strategic areas – security of supply through affordable and reliable energy, value creation for the entire industrial value chain – and it will underpin the EU’s economic growth while safeguarding its competitiveness. Not only is access to crude oil crucial to Europe but also the ability to refine it into energy end products, such as transport and heating fuels and feedstock for the chemical industry.
Transitioning to a lower carbon economy will be more difficult and carry greater risk if the existing supply chain assets become uncompetitive. Europe must guard against this by fully recognising oil refining and its related transport infrastructure in the European Infrastructure Plan.