The country will be able to ensure fuel supply for a six-month period, and then manage to find alternative sources coverings its needs for an additional three months, according to an emergency plan prepared recently by ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum), in the event that Greece defaults on its payments and is forced to exit the eurozone.
According to ELPE officials, citizens should not be concerned about any danger of a fuel supply shortage for the nine-month period if the bailout talks ultimately collapse and force the country out of the eurozone.
ELPE’s preparation of an emergency plan highlights the degree of seriousness caused by the failure, so far, of Greece and its lenders to strike a deal.
Fuel supply emergency situations are divided into three levels of increasing urgency. At the first level, Greece would draw from its emergency deposits. These are maintained by all EU member states, based in European law, to cover emergencies, and would meet demand for three months.
The second level, should the situation worsen, would lead ELPE to turn to future petroleum orders, which would suffice for a further three months.
At the third level, ELPE would make additional crude oil orders and avoid monetary payment but, instead, cover the crude oil orders by supplying equivalent amounts of refined petroleum products, such as diesel. This option, practiced regularly in other countries, such as Italy and Spain, to maintain reserve levels, would offer a solution to Greece for a further three months. Some sources noted this practice could be applied infinitely.
ELPE is also keeping a close watch on developments concering the West’s embargo on Iran, which could reportedly be lifted in the near future, as well as a possible gradual restart of exports by Libya and Iraq. An end to the trade embargo imposed on Iran by the West would prompt access to an additional one million barrels of oil per day, leading to lower prices, from 60 dollars a barrel at present, and decrease order costs for ELPE.
The Greek state holds a 35.5 percent stake in ELPE. The Latsis Group controls a 42.6 percent equity share.