Dáil Éireann - Volume 482 - 12 November, 1997

Written Answers. - Mandatory Oil Offtake.

47. Mrs. B. Moynihan-Cronin asked the Minister for Public Enterprise if the mandatory regime for offtake of produce from Whitegate Refinery, County Cork, which was modified recently will be removed in the foreseeable future; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [18970/97]

Minister for Public Enterprise (Mrs. O'Rourke): The mandatory offtake regime at Whitegate was modified in January 1997 and the purchase obligation on oil companies was reduced from 35 per cent to 20 per cent and a limit was placed on the additional income arising from the operation of the mandatory regime.

Following the continuation of poor refining margins during the first quarter of 1997, consultants were appointed by my Department to investigate and report on the outlook for the refining industry and the financial challenges facing INPC. This report will provide a basis for examining the long-term outlook for the refining industry including the future approach to the mandatory regime.