§ Mr. Redwood
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans the EU has to share oil stocks in the event of an oil crisis. 
§ Mr. Timms
The UK is required as a member state of the European Union to hold emergency oil stocks equal to 67.5 days' consumption, and as a member of the International Energy Agency (LEA) to take part in any collective response to a major international supply disruption.
Under the legislation governing the EU stock-holding obligations, if difficulties arise with regard to EU oil supplies the European Commission will arrange a consultation between member states. However, any response to disruption, including sharing arrangements, is a matter for member states, acting as members of the IEA. The European Commission made a proposal last year to increase its own role. This proposal was opposed by member states at the Energy Council in May 2003, and by the European Parliament at a plenary session in September 2003.