Answer to written question on Energy Union and petroleum products

Posted on 23/06/2015 in News

Question for written answer E-006797/2015 to the Commission by Elisabetta Gardini (PPE)

Subject: Energy Union and petroleum products

The Energy Union Package which the Commission published on 25 February 2015 dismisses fossil fuels (which include petroleum products) as ‘old technology’ and an ‘outdated business model’ and does not include them in the Energy Union strategy despite the fact that, according to IEA estimates, petroleum products will still be used to power 77% of all transport vehicles in 2040 (point a).

In the European Competitiveness Report 2013 the Commission states that the oil refining industry ranks first in Europe for ‘process innovation’ and fourth for ‘product innovation’ (point b).

What is more, according to that report, the oil refining industry ranks second among all European manufacturing industries in terms of the academic qualifications of staff (point c).

1. To what extent were points (a), (b) and (c) above taken into account when the Energy Union strategy was drafted?

2. Did the Commission assess the risk of not including petroleum products in the strategy, despite the fact that they will continue to play a leading role in transport and as an input for the petrochemicals industry and the industrial supply chain for many years to come?

Answer given by Mr Arias Cañete on behalf of the Commission

The goal of a resilient Energy Union with an ambitious climate policy at its core is to give EU consumers – households and businesses – secure, sustainable, competitive and affordable energy. Achieving this goal will require a fundamental transformation of Europe’s energy system, inter alia, as a sustainable, low-carbon and climate-friendly economy that is designed to last, beyond the merits of the different types of energy sources.

In this light, the Commission follows very closely the developments in the EU’s refining sector. The Commission’s 2014 Communication on the European Energy Security Strategy recognised the importance to maintain competitive refining capacities in Europe in order to avoid overdependence on imported refined petroleum products.