Friday, June 10, 2022

A Fuel Shortage Scenario

While I am loathe to quote from the dinosaur media since the accuracy of a substantial portion of their news coverage is questionable, sometimes there are no other sources for a key story.  A recent article in the Irish Independent is just such a story.


On June 6, 2022, this article was published by the Irish Independent:



Leaked government documents outlining the confidential details of an emergency planning exercise called the "Oil Emergency Exercise" that took place on May 26, 2022 which was conducted with participants from Ireland's Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications along with the National Oil Reserves Agency, Fuels for Ireland and the Department of Transport and National Emergency Coordination Group.  The scenario included three mock exercises:


1.) a 20 percent reduction in diesel volumes entering Ireland beginning on September 1, 2022


2.) fuel stocks are 30 to 35 percent below demand for an eight week period leading up to December 19, 2022


3.) Insufficient oil and natural gas to supply electricity in February 2023


To put Ireland's oil security into perspective, the island has no pipeline connections to either the EU or United Kingdom and is 100 percent reliant on ship-based transportation of oil and oil byproducts. 


Under the first scenario where imported diesel volumes are reduced by 20 percent, the exercise anticipated "diesel stockouts" where fuel stations will run dry and the supply of diesel to critical and emergency services will be threatened.  At this point, the National Oil Reserves Agency (NORA) which maintains a minimum of 90 days supply of oil (Ireland's commitment as part of its membership in the International Energy Agency).  Currently, NORA's minimum level of stock (aka its obligation) is:


1.) 1,416,340 tonnes of refined product

2.) 70,000 tonnes of Crude Oil. 


Here is a map showing the geographic locations of Ireland's strategic oil supply:


Here is a graphic showing the number of obligation days and actual holdings for 2015:



In the second scenario where fuel stocks are 35 percent below demand for the eight week period prior to December 19, 2022, the National Emergency Coordination Group will be responsible for activating the Oil Emergency Allocation Scheme to control the supply and distribution of diesel.  In this case, diesel supply distribution would be prioritized for essential services and critical workers whereas other motorists would be ordered to limit their driving.  Under the 1971 and 1982 Fuels (Control of Supplies) Act, the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment may enact demand restraint as quoted here with my bold:


"Section 3 of the 1971 Act provides for the Minister at times of emergency to take measures controlling, regulating, restricting and prohibiting the import or export of fuel. In the event of a prolonged oil emergency, the National Emergency Coordination Group, which consists of representatives of all Government Departments, key Agencies and industry, would be convened for the duration of the emergency. Decisions by the Minister on measures to reduce fuel consumption or to allocate fuel to priority users would be guided by this cross sectoral “whole of Government” approach.


The 2004 Road Traffic Act allows the Minister for Transport to reduce speed limits, as agreed by Government."


If fuel rationing is required, according to the leaked document, consumers would be divided into four categories with tier one consumers being comprised of essential workers including farmers and food producers.  Tier four consumers would be classified as motorists making non-essential journeys.  The document does not explain the other two tiers.  Under rationing, only 100 service stations in Ireland which are designated as "critical" would receive fuel supplies which would be sold only to emergency and essential services workers.


Additionally, the participants in the exercise considered the following contingency measures should fuel supplies be insufficient:


1.) All non-essential workers will be ordered to work from home


2.) A limit will be placed on all non-essential car travel


3.) A strict limit on the amount of fuel motorists can buy at any one time


4.) The implementation of an immediate and strict reduction in the speed limit on motorways.


Tthe emergency plan also introduces a scheme whereby motorists with an odd number at the end of their car registration will only be allowed to drive or refuel on alternate days.


It is rather sobering to think that the fuel shortage scenarios outlined in this exercise could become reality given the current energy situation in Europe which has become highly reliant on supplies from Russia.  While the scenarios in this exercise are specific to Ireland, many of the same issues will face other nations if there is a shortage of diesel and gasoline.  As well, we should keep in mind that the recommendations made during this exercise could well become our new Great Reset reality as the global ruling class takes it upon itself to take actions against the use of fossil fuels in the name of saving Planet Earth...for themselves.  On the upside, should the restrictions against travel in vehicles be enacted, at least the COVID-19 pandemic got the world used to the idea of being isolated from society as a result of the working from home orders that governments enacted over the past two years.


  1. I am too lazy to track down the references but it looks like there will be (is) a world-wide shortage of diesel. In particular the EU's insane idea of sanctioning Russian oil seems to mean all of Europe is in real trouble.

    I had thought that crude oil was basically fungible but apparently it is not. Various classes of oil more easily produce certain products and refineries are fine-tuned to a specific brand of oil. Apparently re-tuning can be a long and costly business.

    I am not sure if the USA is still importing Russian oil but it seems that while it was not a lot of oil, it was one for producing diesel fuel. This likely accounts for Biden's approach to Venezuela as I believe some of their oil is optimal for producing diesel. Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism had a good primer on this in late February if I have my dates correct, predicting serious diesel shortages for the USA.

    We in North America could be in real trouble soon.

    1. Here's an article outlining the diesel situation:

  2. Sorry that comment was from jrkrideau not anon. No idea how I messed it up. Have you changed the security setup somehow?

  3. No I haven't. Google keeps messing with things and now I can't even sign in to post my own comments (which also are tagged as Anonymous). If you wish, you can just put jrkrideau in the first or last line of your comments. Sorry for the inconvenience but Google does NOT respond to email questions about Blogger.