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Groundhog Day for OPEC+

Groundhog Day for OPEC+

Ahead of a critical meeting…

Switzerland Stops Strategic Fuel Stock Drawdowns As Supply Normalizes

Switzerland is repealing an ordinance from 2022 allowing drawdowns from its strategic fuel stockpiles after supply of petroleum products has now normalized, the Swiss government said on Tuesday.  

Last year, Switzerland started to release oil from its emergency reserves as it lowered the obligatory levels of petroleum stocks by 6.5% due to low water levels on the Rhine River and chaos in railway transportation.

In 2022, heat waves and droughts in many parts of Europe drained the water levels at the biggest navigational rivers, including the Rhine.

The Rhine River, which runs northwest from Switzerland through Germany, France, and the Netherlands into the North Sea, is a major petroleum product transportation corridor in Europe.  

Switzerland gets petroleum supplies via two key routes—via the Rhine and through railway transport. Low water levels on the Rhine in 2022 led to a drastic reduction in the amount of products shipped on the river, while the cross-border railway traffic to Switzerland saw massive cancellations and delays due to a lack of personnel and ongoing repair works.

In a statement today, the Swiss government said that the fuel supply situation has returned to normal and sufficient volumes of fuel are now arriving in the country.

The government noted that Switzerland felt an acute shortage of fuels in the autumn of 2022, due to issues with navigation on the Rhine and with bottlenecks in railway transportation. The Russian invasion of Ukraine also rattled the fuel market in Europe and Swiss imports were limited due to the spike in prices.

Switzerland had issues with fuel supply early this year, too. The prolonged strikes in France hampered the delivery of jet fuel and only limited volumes of crude oil were delivered to the Cressier refinery in Switzerland.

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However, the fuel supply situation has improved in recent months, allowing the government to repeal the ordinance for stock draws, the cabinet said on Tuesday.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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