Welcoming the announcement of a long overdue Review of Australia’s Fuel Security, the peak
body for downstream gaseous fuels, Gas Energy Australia (GEA), today stated that one of the
simplest ways to reduce the cost of building fuel reserves is to switch away from oil based fuels.
GEA CEO John Griffiths said that one of the barriers causing a bureaucratic failure to even accept
Australia has a fuel security problem, has been the practical reality of what would be the excessive
cost of meeting Australia’s International Energy Agency (IEA) 90 day oil reserve obligation.
“The Federal Government previously estimated it would cost $6.5 billion to build up our reserves to
meet our IEA obligation which equates to holding oil stocks no less than 90 days of our net imports
in the previous year. The more dependent we become on oil imports – the more reserves we must
hold and the higher the cost”.
“So it’s easier to put your head in the sand and assume away the security vulnerability. A bit like
believing Singapore was impregnable and the Titanic was unsinkable” said Mr Griffiths.
The recent Joint Standing Committee for Intelligence and Security ‘belled the cat’ when it found
that the lack of reserves represented a national security as well as an economic consideration.
Mr Griffiths said that Australia had significant gas reserves that could provide gaseous fuels like
LNG, CNG and LPG – all of which can be used for transport with current technology, for off-grid
baseload power generation and many industrial uses.
“A range of passenger, commuter and long haul road transport, trains and ships can already use
these fuels – either alone or as part of hybrid technology. And it’s ludicrous that many off-grid
communities and offshore islands in pristine fragile environments use largely imported and highly
polluting oil based fuels like diesel.”
Switching just a proportion of Australia’s transport and other energy uses from oil to abundant
Australian gases would not only significantly reduce the need to build expensive oil reserves – but
would also help with demands for cleaner and lower emitting fuels.
“Australia needs to avoid the madness of becoming increasingly dependent on foreign oil imports,
transported from and through some of the most dangerous places on earth, for 90% of our needs.”
“And of course producing gaseous fuels here and developing the niche manufacturing that comes
with it also provides Australian jobs – while importing oil from offshore refineries only produces
offshore jobs” said Mr Griffiths.
GEA welcomes this overdue acknowledgement of the issue and notes that part of the fuel security
solution lies in using more abundant Australian produced and clean gaseous fuels.
More information about Australian gaseous fuels can be found here.
Media contact: John Griffiths 0439 344 622