Obligations and guarantees
Managing strategic oil reserves
Established in 1988, on the initiative of oil operators and under the aegis of public authorities, the Société Anonyme de Gestion de Stocks de Sécurité (SAGESS), mandated by the Comité Professionnel des Stocks Stratégiques Pétroliers (CPSSP), has the role of building up, stockpiling and maintaining strategic oil reserves in order to fulfill obligations set by national and international standards. The objectives of SAGESS are in particular to ensure a better control in respect of these obligations, a geographic distribution of reserves and to improve the safety of supplies in the event of a national or international crisis. Managing strategic oil reserves is a complex mission because it is based on logistic and financial dynamics requiring the renewal of reserves and regular interactions in financial markets.
A mission of public interest
France obliges oil operators who carry out their activities on French territory to ensure a supply of strategic oil reserves equivalent to a percentage of the quantities released for inland consumption in the previous calendar year (28.5% as of July 1, 2011 and 29.5% as of July 1, 2012 in accordance with the European directive, effective January 1, 2013). These reserves for civilian use are distributed throughout,metropolittan France in accordance with an annual plan of storage, as approved by an administrative commission (Commission Interministérielle des Dépôts d’Hydrocarbures) on hydrocarbon deposits (commission interministérielle des dépôts d’hydrocarbures or CIDH).
Part of this obligation is ensured by the oil operators. The other part is entrusted to the Comité Professionnel des Stocks Stratégiques Pétroliers (CPSSP), whose exclusive mission is to stockpile and maintain these strategic stocks. The CPSSP delegates the operational management of its mission to SAGESS. The CPSSP and SAGESS, together, are considered the national oil reserve agency. It is for this reason, in the adoption of the new European directive on strategic oil reserves, that SAGESS has been officially nominated the Central Storage Entity (CSE) for France (decree N° 2012-1544, dated December 28, 2012). SAGESS, a non-profit, privately-held and tightly structured company thus concerns public interest.