Skip to main content


Estonia’s exports of liquid fuels exceeded imports last year

Submitted by ospa on Thu, 03/21/2024 - 14:20

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), Estonia was one of the five member states of the IEA whose liquid fuel exports exceeded imports in 2023. The export of shale oil produced in Estonia amounted to 1,194 thousand tonnes of oil equivalent and the volume of liquid fuels imported for domestic consumption amounted to 1,072 thousand tonnes.

The IEA, founded to counterbalance oil-exporting countries during the global fuel crisis of the 1970s, now has thirty-one members, of which only the United States, Canada, Mexico, Norway, and Estonia were net exporters of liquid fuels last year. In 2023, Estonia was the only EU Member States where fuel exports exceeded imports.

According to Priit Enok, member of the board of the Estonian Stockpiling Agency (ESPA), both the consumption of petroleum products and the production volumes of shale oil in Estonia have remained stable in recent years.

‘In the large statistical calculation, shale oil and petroleum products are considered part of the same category and the different fuel types are converted into tonnes of oil equivalent for comparison. We have been hovering close to zero with our fuel export-import balance for some time.

Becoming a net exporter of fuels is an interesting fact, but it has little impact on the security of supply of the Estonian market. The petrol, diesel, and aviation fuel used as motor fuels are 100% imported and made either from oil or, increasingly, from environmentally friendly renewable raw materials, rather than from oil shale. Shale oil is, however, a significant alternative fuel in local heat production.

A country that is a net exporter of liquid fuels is subject to a certain additional obligation in calculating the volume of strategic fuel stocks, but ESPA has already taken this into account in the past and our 90-day national stock is fully compliant,’ Enok explained.

Calculated in crude oil equivalent, 1.1 tonnes of oil shale oil were exported and 1 tonne of liquid fuels was imported for domestic consumption per every Estonian adult in 2023.


The state-owned Estonian Stockpiling Agency is responsible for stockpiling, storing, and organising the utilisation of essential goods needed by the Estonian population in emergencies.