COURT OF APPEAL (CIVIL DIVISION)
ON APPEAL FROM THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
(QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION) (ADMINISTRATIVE COURT)
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
LADY JUSTICE HALLETT
MR JUSTICE BLACKBURNE
| THE QUEEN on the application of MABANAFT LIMITED
|- and -
|SECRETARY OF STATE FOR ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE
Ms Sarah Lee (instructed by Treasury Solicitors) for the Respondent
Hearing dates : 1/2 December 2008
Crown Copyright ©
Lady Justice Arden :
Background to the decision
Judgment of Beatson J
The Secretary of State's submissions
"… petroleum products, because of their exceptional importance as an energy source in the modern economy, are of fundamental importance to a country's existence since not only the economy but above all its institutions, its essential public services and even the survival of its inhabitants depend upon them. " (Campus Oil v Minister for Industry and Energy  ECR 2727 at 2751)
Lady Justice Hallett:
Mr Justice Blackburne:
(3) A crisis in obtaining supplies could occur unexpectedly and it is therefore essential to establish forthwith the necessary means to make good a possible shortage.
(4) To this end, it is necessary to increase the security of supply for crude oil and petroleum products in Member States by establishing and maintaining minimum stocks of the most important petroleum products.
(5) It is necessary that the organisational arrangements for oil stocks do not prejudice the smooth running of the internal market.
(9) It is appropriate that organisational arrangements for the maintenance of stocks are transparent, ensuring a fair and non-discriminatory sharing of the burden of the stockholding obligation. Therefore, information relating into the cost of holding oil stocks may be made available by Member States to interested parties.
1. Member States shall adopt such laws, regulations or administrative provisions as may be appropriate in order to maintain within the Community at all times, subject to the provisions of Article 10, their stocks of petroleum products at a level corresponding, for each of the categories of petroleum products listed in Article 2, to at least 90 days average daily internal consumption in the preceding calendar year referred to in Article 4 (2).
1. Stocks maintained in accordance with Article 1 shall be fully at the disposal of Member States should difficulties arise in obtaining oil supplies. Member States shall ensure that they have the legal powers to control the use of stocks in such circumstances…
2. Member States shall ensure that fair and non-discriminatory conditions apply in their stockholding arrangements.
The cost burden resulting from the maintenance of stocks in accordance with Article 1 shall be identified by transparent arrangements. In this context, Member States may adopt measures to obtain appropriate information regarding the cost burden of stockholding in accordance with Article 1 and to make such information available to interested parties.
3. To fulfil the requirements of paragraphs 1 and 2, Member States may decide to have recourse to a stock-holding body or entity which will be responsible for holding all or part of the stocks.
Two or more Member States may decide to have recourse to a joint stock-holding body or entity. In that case they shall be jointly responsible for the obligations deriving from this Directive.