Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Questions (282, 283, 284, 285)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

282. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the current rate of the National Oil Reserves Agency levy; and the annual revenue raised by the levy in each year since 2007, in tabular form. [28342/19]

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Pearse Doherty

Question:

283. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the sources of revenue that comprise the total revenue collected through the National Oil Reserve Agency levy; and the percentage paid by oil producers and normal consumers and so on in each year since 2007, in tabular form. [28343/19]

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Pearse Doherty

Question:

284. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if the National Oil Reserve Agency levy is an Exchequer revenue source; and, if so, if the reallocation of the levy to the climate action fund will have an impact on the Exchequer. [28344/19]

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Pearse Doherty

Question:

285. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if the National Oil Reserve Agency levy is collected in a non-Exchequer fund; if so, the amount of revenue accumulated in the fund; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28345/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 282 to 285, inclusive, together.

The National Oil Reserves Agency (NORA) is a non-commercial State body under the aegis of my Department with responsibility for the maintenance of Ireland’s strategic oil reserves. NORA is funded through a levy placed on the sale of most oil products. The current rate of the NORA levy is 2 cent per litre, having been set at this rate in 2009. Oil Companies are liable for payment of this levy when oil is placed on the market. However, I understand that the levy is passed on to consumers, both retail and commercial, when purchasing oil. The annual revenue from the NORA levy from 2007 to 2018 was as follows:

Year

Annual Revenue

2018

€134,185,000

2017

€130,410,000

2016

€131,766,000

2015

€130,380,000

2014

€121,337,000

2013

€123,420,257

2012

€122,755,088

2011

€129,664,352

2010

€139,711,142

2009

€93,327,372

2008

€81,367,837

2007

€46,708,092

NORA levy monies are paid directly by the oil companies to NORA and not to the Exchequer.

Prior to 2009, the NORA levy was 1c per litre of product. This was not sufficient to meet NORA’s expenses, including the purchase of oil stocks for use in an emergency, and a very considerable level of borrowing had built up. The levy was increased from 1 cent to 2 cent in 2009, primarily to manage and repay this debt, but also to build up stocks and secure additional storage, both within Ireland and abroad, to ensure Ireland held its 90-day obligation in physical stocks.

By April 2017 NORA had repaid all its outstanding debt obligations (€444m in 2009) and now meets Ireland’s oil stockholding obligations fully with physical stock. NORA was debt free throughout 2018.

The company’s closing cash balance at 31st December 2018 was €183.9m. This will be used for:

a) NORA’s ongoing financing requirements and commitments;

b) the purchase of additional oil stocks associated with planned changes in storage contract arrangements, including stock to be purchased in 2020 and held at the ESB-owned oil storage site at Poolbeg, which has been refurbished by NORA.

Government approved the establishment of the Climate Action Fund (CAF), to be funded by the excess of receipts over costs from the NORA levy, to support projects that will help towards reducing Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions. Legislative proposals are currently being designed for the repurposing of the NORA levy to include meeting NORA’s expenses, and to provide future financing to the CAF. As NORA levy funding is not paid to the Exchequer, the repurposing of a portion of this funding for the CAF will have no impact on the Exchequer.