By obliging fuel suppliers to report the origin of their petroleum products and the CO2 emissions occurring during extraction, processing, production and transport to the pump (well-to-wheel emissions) the European Union has come up with an effective instrument in the drive to reduce the CO2 emissions associated with fossil transport fuels. Because the rules apply to all producers serving the European market, European companies and refineries will suffer no competitive disadvantage.
In the short term there will be little impact on the oil industry, but in the longer term the new rules will affect sectoral trends and investments, making fuels with low well-to-wheel emissions more attractive than those with a bigger carbon footprint. The anticipated reporting costs will amount to no more than half a Euro cent per 50-litre tank of vehicle fuel.
These are the principal results of a study on the costs and impacts of reporting the well-to-wheel emissions of transport fuels marketed in the EU, as proposed last year by the European Commission as an extension to the current Fuel Quality Directive. The study inventories all the relevant data currently being monitored and reported and the additional efforts required to comply with the envisaged new requirements. An analysis is also presented of how the oil industry would be affected.
The study was carried out by CE Delft, Carbon Matters and the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) at the request of Transport & Environment.