Oil emergency response strategy

The Oil Emergency Response Strategy helps reduce the impact on New Zealand of a disruption in the supply of oil. It also helps New Zealand meet its obligations to the International Energy Agency.

About the strategy

The Oil Emergency Response Strategy (the strategy) sets out the broad policy and operational principles that underpin the government’s response to significant international or national fuel supply disruptions.

Oil Emergency Response Strategy [PDF, 425 KB]

The government will only consider the strategy’s emergency measures in a severe fuel supply disruption, when the industry is unable to deal with the disruption on its own. The emergency measures won’t be implemented to manage prices or to help particular suppliers.

The fuel industry has the primary responsibility for responding in an emergency. The government's role is normally coordination, unless the severity of the situation warrants the use of regulatory powers.

Managing the effects of a domestic event

If an event within New Zealand could impact fuel supplies nationwide, it may be appropriate to work with industry using the strategy to respond to that event. Some examples of possible domestic events include:

  • an outage at the Marsden Point refinery
  • disruption to the Refinery to Auckland Pipeline
  • managing the after-effects of a civil defence emergency or natural disaster.

The strategy only deals with the effects of a disruption to fuel supplies. It can’t be activated to manage the effects of high oil prices and isn't intended to resolve issues affecting only 1 company.

Responding to an International Energy Agency-declared emergency

In the event of a severe disruption to global oil supply, International Energy Agency (IEA) member states may decide to collectively release emergency oil stocks to the international market.

The IEA approach includes measures that New Zealand can potentially take to reduce demand and increase supply in the event of a disruption to the global oil market. As a member of the IEA, New Zealand has an obligation to hold emergency petroleum stocks equivalent to 90 days of net imports.

For more information, see the International Energy Agency(external link).