Australia relies on oil-derived transport fuel to keep our communities connected and keep our economy running. Increasingly however we have to rely on imports of oil and fuel from a range of countries around the world. The annual import bill for oil currently stands at more than $15 billion, but this is forecast to blow out to at least $100 billion by 2030.
Currently, most of the oil we import is sourced from the Asian region. However, the continuing growth of China and India will place increasing pressure on Australia’s traditional oil import supply sources in Asia.
In 2014/15 Sydney's Kurnell and Clyde refineries, and Brisbane's BP Refinery closed to be redeveloped as fuel import terminals, increasing our nation's reliance on imports of transport fuel.
The Australian Government maintains a careful watch on Australia’s fuel security, and regularly updates its status as part of the National Energy Security Assessment (NESA) process.
Concerns about Australia’s declining fuel security have been expressed in a 2013 NRMA report, which can be viewed here.
World oil supply and demand
In its 2011 World Energy Outlook, the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts world demand for oil to increase from 87 million barrels per day in 2010, to 99 million barrels per day by 2035.
Meeting this challenge will require massive investment in exploration and development; achieving this goal by 2030 would amount to 8 trillion dollars.
The IEA Outlook says a growing share of output will come from natural gas liquids (over 18 million barrels per day in 2035) and unconventional sources (such as oil shale) at 10 million barrels per day.