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Energy supply security: Australia

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


  • In 2012, oil and gas in Australia accounted for 59% of total primary energy supply.
  • Domestic natural gas production more than satisfies the country’s demand and will do for the foreseeable future.
  • Australia does not impose minimum stock holding requirements on oil companies and there are no public stocks.
  • Emergency policy relies on the domestic market to respond to supply short falls in the first instance.
  • In a declared state of emergency, the government does have legislative power to control the storage, transfer, sale and production of liquid fuels.


  • Most crude oils are of a high quality, light and sweet grade.
  • Australia produces NGLs in the form of naturally occurring LPG.
  • Crude oil and condensate production peaked in 2000 at 687 000 bpd.
  • To 2050, NGL and crude oil production is projected to decrease at an average rate of 3.8% /y.
  • To 2050, consumption of petroleum products is expected to grow at an average rate of 1.1% /y.
  • In 2012, oil demand averaged 1.126 million bpd.
  • In 2010, diesel surpassed gasoline as the largest single component of the country’s total oil demand.
  • In 2012, net oil imports averaged 646 000 bpd.
  • There are six refineries in Australia with a total crude distillation capacity of 680 000 bpd.
  • All oil storage capacity is held commercially within the supply chain.
  • The Minister for Industry is responsible for coordinating emergency response in the event of an oil supply disruption.
  • Australia held approximately 39 million bbls of oil stock at the end of April 2013.
  • The potential for reducing oil use through fuel switching in heat and power plants is limited.


  • In 2012, total natural gas production was 53.9 billion m3.
  • By 2018, total production is expected to exceed 140 billion m3.
  • In 2012, domestic gas consumption totalled approximately 48.7 billion m3.
  • By 2018, natural gas demand is expected to hit 55 billion m3.
  • Australia is a net exporter of natural gas and all exports are sent as LNG.
  • There are 150 gas companies active in Australia.
  • There are three LNG terminals currently in operation in the country.
  • Australia has four underground natural gas storage facilities operating and one LNG peak shaving plant.
  • There are no strategic stocks of natural gas in Australia.
  • There are no policies to promote fuel switching away from natural gas in an emergency.

Adapted by Claira Lloyd

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