Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Ceisteanna (468, 469)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

468. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the current levy to fund the National Oil Reserve Agency; the amount raised in each year since 2007 from the levy; the cost of running the agency each year since 2007; the legislative parameters enabling the charging of a levy to fund the agency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39589/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

469. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the amount held in the National Oil Reserve Agency; if he is considering transferring this money to the climate action fund; if his Department has considered potential state aid implications in relation to same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39590/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 468 and 469 together.

The levy, charged on the sale of most petroleum products at the point of sale, is collected and paid by the oil companies on a monthly basis to the National Oil Reserves Agency, to fund its activities. The levy is currently set at the rate of 2 cent per litre. The levy income and the operating costs and expenses incurred by the Agency, since 2007, are listed in tabular form:

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Levy Income (€m)

46.7

81.4

93.3

139.7

129.7

122.8

123.4

121.3

130.4

131.8

130.4

134.2

Costs and Expenses (€m)

62.9

321.2

49.9

104.2

212.3

126.4

51.2

64.7

86.6

39.5

78.6

39.4

Total costs include operating costs, finance costs, corporation tax charges and strategic stock purchases

The National Oil Reserves Agency Act 2007 provides for the statutory provisions for the payment of the levy. Section 37 of the Act places a liability on oil companies and oil consumers to pay a levy to the Agency each month, on their relevant disposals of petroleum product in the preceding month. Section 44 of the Act provides for the setting of the rate of the levy, by regulation, by the Minister, having consulted with the Minister for Finance.

At the end of August 2019 the National Oil Reserves Agency held a total cash balance of €221.7m. This balance will be utilised to meet the expenses of NORA, including for the purchase of strategic oil stocks, for the refurbishment of oil storage facilities, and to provide a contingency which may be required to cover the cost of replacing stocks used in an oil supply emergency.

Currently legislation is being developed to amend the National Oil Reserves Agency Act 2007 to provide for the expansion of the purpose of future levy funds collected, to both fund the Agency’s expenses and contribute to climate action, through the Climate Action Fund.

All projects that will be supported under the Climate Action Fund will be subject to compliance with European Union State Aid regulations/rules.

Question No. 470 answered with Question No. 466.