Oil companies have welcomed the publication of a Government review into the refining and fuel imports sectors in the UK, but cautioned that it failed to fully address issues facing the industry.

The review was published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and energy minister Michael Fallon commented: “Global commercial factors will continue to affect the refining market in the UK and the EU more broadly, and further closures across the continent are likely in future. A package of actions has been developed by government, which taken together, could help improve the operating environment for the refining and import sectors.

“These measures include the setting up of a new joint government and industry Midstream Oil Task Force. This will provide a strategic and collaborative way of working and will deliver a number of the actions from the review. The task force will be independently chaired and draw its members from across the midstream oil sector.”

In its response UKPIA, which represents the oil refiners, said that the UK refining sector was facing challenges that threatened the sustainability of the industry, not least of which was the cost of cumulative regulatory burden imposed on the sector by legislators.

It added that it was therefore unfortunate that the review did not fully address many of the wider legislative issues affecting the sector in the UK and its ability to compete effectively in today’s global market.

It said it was critical that the new task force targeted fundamental policy reform, and it was looking forward to working with government via the task force and lending its support in achieving urgent and measurable actions.

Chris Hunt, director general of UKPIA, commented: “We stand ready to support the task force in both addressing the concerns and challenges facing our downstream oil industry in the UK and in achieving urgent, identifiable and quantifiable initiatives for our sector.”