§ Mr. Goodlad
I represented the United Kingdom at the Energy Ministers Council on 15 March.
The Council discussed the present state of the European refining industry, following refinery closures by companies to bring capacity more into line with demand, and in the light of an expected increase in the volume of exports of refined oil products from middle east countries. The Council agreed that the Commission should continue to keep a careful watch on the situation. The Commission is to consult other major consuming countries in order to ensure that additional imports are absorbed into the market in an orderly way.
A first discussion was held on the Commission's proposal for a further five-year regulation to provide support for energy demonstration projects. A number of countries, including the United Kingdom, felt that the Commission's proposal to spend 700 mecu over five years were over-ambitious.
The Council adopted a resolution designed to promote progress in using energy more efficiently in buildings. Energy pricing and a draft directive on substitute fuels were also briefly discussed.