Australia’s oil production sits at its lowest levels in more than 40 years, at the same time as demand for oil continues to grow.
This situation has seen our nation’s self-sufficiency in oil fall from more than 100% in 2006 to around 50% now with forecasts it will drop to below 20% by 2030, as oilfields such as Bass Strait continue to decline.
Increasingly, Australia is relying on imports of oil from a range of countries around the world. The annual import bill for oil currently stands at $13 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. Therefore, Australia is likely to have to source supply from further afield, including countries of the former Soviet Union, the Middle East, Venezuela and Nigeria.
Expert analysis has shown that Australia needs to develop a suite of alternative fuels to ensure greater fuel security in years to come, including shale-derived fuels, gas-to-liquids, coal-to-liquids and biofuels.
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.
While there is no immediate concern regarding the future supply of oil and fuels for our transport systems, the Government is developing an Alternative Fuels Strategy as part of its development of an Energy White Paper.
It is prudent to ensure ongoing self-reliance in oil and therefore ensure greater fuel security for Australia.