Oil consumption here continues to increase with diesel volumes up 42% last year

Oil consumption here continues to increase with diesel volumes up 42% last year

The organisation representing the petroleum industry here has pledged to play its part in Ireland’s transition to a low carbon and environmentally sustainable economy.

But the Irish Petroleum Industry Association (IPIA) says moving to such an economy requires a clear understanding of the current situation around the country’s use of oil products.

In order to aid such knowledge, the IPIA has produced its first sector profile outlining statistics underpinning the industry here.

It shows that despite a move away from fossil fuels, especially diesel, overall oil consumption was 11% higher in 2018 than in 2011 with diesel volumes up 42% and petrol down 34%.

However, biofuels also account for a greater share of both petrol and diesel volumes, with such fuels accounting for 5.2% of gasoline sold (up from 1.7% in 2010) and 4.7% of diesel volumes (up from 2.6% nine years ago).

In overall terms, oil derived products now account for 50% of all energy consumption here, considerably higher than the EU average of 35%.

Nearly three quarters of that oil is consumed by transport, with roads accounting for more than half of that and air travel 13%.

15% of oil is used by the residential sector, nearly double the EU average because a higher proportion of households here rely on heating oil for central heating than in Europe.

40% of households in Ireland now rely on oil to heat their homes, down from 43% in 2011.

This share varied significantly by region, with roughly 26% of households located in towns using oil for central heating compared to 65% in rural areas.

Food manufacturing and agriculture account for 4.2% of all petroleum products consumed here, the research shows.

Oil imports have dropped since 2007 but this has mainly been driven by refined oil imports, the analysis finds.

Crude oil imports have remained relatively stable since 2005.

In total, the IPIA says over 13,000 people were employed in filling stations around the country in 2016, up almost 15% since 2010.

The reliance of the exchequer on tax on oil products is also spelled out in the data, with €3 billion of the tax take last year coming from the sector.

€2 billion of that total came from excise duty, with €337 from the carbon tax and €600m from VAT.

According to the IPIA, 61% of the price of a litre of petrol and 57% of a litre of diesel is tax.

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