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MPs urge government to act over oil refining industry

26 July, 2013

MPs have urged the Government to take action to maintain the health of the UK oil refining industry.

The House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee’s report on UK Oil Refining, which is published today calls for government action to address the burden of UK and EU legislative requirements that affect the competitiveness of UK refineries and establish a more level playing field with European and global competitors.

A key conclusion was that “…The UK needs to maintain the health of its refining industry. A mix of domestically refined products and imports is an important ingredient of energy security and the UK refining industry is a welcome provider of jobs and tax revenue for the economy.

“We agree with witnesses who called for Government to set a long-term framework for the industry to help secure its future….”

The report goes on to say: “The scale of legislative and regulatory burdens on the industry may undermine long-term sustainability. DECC’s strategic objective should be to level the playing field between domestic refiners and importers, approaching these sectors as an integrated industry of two parts….”

Chris Hunt, director general of UKPIA which represents nine oil refining and marketing companies, welcomed the report. He said: “The inquiry and conclusions are timely and complement the ‘Call for Evidence’ from DECC [Department of Energy & Climate Change] on refining and the wider supply of fuels.

“As an evidence base, DECC’s study will be drawing upon a report published in May by energy analysts Purvin &Gert to assess the role and future of the oil refining industry and its value to the UK economy.”

He added: “We look forward to publication of DECC’s conclusions later this year but in the meantime we would urge the Government to maintain its dialogue with the European Commission to undertake an urgent analysis in 2013 of all current and impending EU legislative impacts through the ‘Fitness Checks’ process being undertaken at the EU level via the Refining Forum.”