Explanation of Stocks Held Abroad Column

This column represents the days of net-import cover a country has through stocks held in other countries.  These stocks can be either public (government and/or agency) stocks or industry stocks which are held for emergency purposes.  The stocks in this column are not included in the figures for the country where they are held.

In specific instances, member countries are able to count stocks held in the territory of other countries in order to fulfil their minimum IEA stockholding requirements.  This can include stocks held in other countries for logistical purposes, such as at a neighbouring country’s port where volumes are unloaded and delivered by pipeline. Stocks counted towards the minimum obligation can also include stocks held under bilateral agreements between governments, which guarantee access to such stocks during a crisis.  This creates efficiencies in stockholding, especially for countries with insufficient domestic storage capacity or in which a major demand centre is located on or near an international border. Interconnectivity of the oil market infrastructure can also facilitate more cost-effective storage by utilising spare storage capacity in neighbouring countries. This flexibility is often an important means of enabling industry participants to meet stockholding obligations imposed by the government

In some cases, the stocks held abroad are actually owned by the company or agency with the stockholding obligation. In other cases, the company or agency does not own the stocks but has the right – based on short-term lease contracts or tickets – to purchase them in a crisis (see Stockholding Tickets).