Government announces fuel security review

The government will assess liquid fuel security, with reports Australia’s stocks are lower than standard.

Liquid fuel, such as petrol, diesel and jet fuel, accounts for 37 per cent of Australia’s energy use, including 98 per cent of transport needs.

“The assessment is the prudent and proper thing to do to make sure we aren’t complacent,” said Minister for Energy Josh Frydenberg.

“It should not be construed as Australia having a fuel security problem.”

However, Fairfax Media reports that Australia only has 22 days supply of crude oil, 59 days of LPG, 20 days of petrol, 19 days of aviation fuel and 21 days of diesel.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) standard is for countries to have a 90-day supply of fuel reserves, with these figures indicating Australia has less than 50 days.

The comprehensive assessment will look at how fuel is supplied and used in Australia, including our resilience to withstand disruptions both overseas and in Australia.

“We have not experienced a significant disruption to fuels supplies since the OPEC oil crises in the 1970s, but there is no room to be complacent,” said Mr Frydenberg.

“Australia’s liquid fuel supply increasingly depends on overseas sources and relies on market forces to maintain reliability and affordability.”

The assessment will identify whether the Government should take further steps to ensure Australia’s domestic fuel supply is reliable.

The assessment will also help inform Australia’s plan to return to compliance with the IEA’s emergency stockholding obligations by 2026.

The assessment of liquid fuels will be completed by the end of 2018 and contribute to a broader consideration of energy security across liquid fuel, electricity and gas supplies in the National Energy Security Assessment by mid-2019.

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