Fuels for Ireland chief executive Kevin McPartland has moved to reassure the public that oil stocks in the country are sufficient and that it was “exceptionally unlikely” there would be fuel rationing in the near future.
Ireland was “pretty well-prepared” with an emergency plan in place should Russia stop supplying oil to Europe, he told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland.
Stock levels were being monitored continuously, and he was “pretty confident” at the current situation, he added.
Ireland imported a very small amount of oil directly from Russia – only two per cent to four per cent, he explained, although Russian crude refined elsewhere in the EU and the UK was also imported.
Prior to the outbreak of the war in Ukraine oil companies had begun moving away from getting oil in Russia, said Mr McPartland.
Supply chains were moved to the Gulf and elsewhere to lessen reliance on Russia.
Mr McPartland acknowledged that half of the country’s fuel needs were reliant on oil, but he was confident that supplies would be maintained.
It was prudent to have emergency plans for a safety net to ensure the country was in the “best possible situation”.
The National Oil Resources Agency (NORA) would make sure that if there was “any potential crisis coming down the line” the country would be in a good position, but Mr McPartland said he did not think that would happen. It was the sensible thing to do, to prepare for every eventuality.
The decision by Russia to halt supply to some countries was “Putin flexing his muscles”, he said. It would be foolish to say there couldn’t be an impact on Ireland, but measures were being taken to limit any risk.
The country was “pretty well prepared” and in the event of a fuel crisis NORA stock would prioritise “particular” users.
When asked if fuel rationing was a possibility, Mr McPartland said that was a legal matter for Government, nothing was off the table, but he thought it “exceptionally unlikely.”