Oil reserve agency cuts debt by 25pc
DEBT levels at the National Oil Reserves Agency (NORA) were slashed by a quarter last year to €335.5m, according to new accounts filed for the organisation.
NORA is the semi-state body charged with ensuring Ireland maintains a minimum of 90 days' reserves of fuel, under EU legislation and International Energy Agency rules.
The accounts also reveal that overall oil consumption in the country dropped by 12pc in 2009 as the effects of the recession ate into demand. NORA described the fall in consumption as "minor".
The decline has also reduced pressure on the agency to secure additional storage space for its reserves, but NORA chairman Aidan Donnelly said that the fall had been offset by a requirement to maintain biofuel reserves.
"The outlook for consumption volumes in the coming years is for low percentage increases in line with growth levels in the Irish economy," Mr Donnelly notes in the accounts.
The statements also show that NORA chief executive Pat Meehan was paid a total of €148,419 last year, which included €24,000 paid under a performance-related pay scheme.
NORA's strategic fuel stocks were valued at €548m at the end of 2010.