Australia’s energy security

Although the sub-title of this blog is ‘energy decline and self-sufficiency’, I don’t tend to dwell on energy decline (aka peak oil) very much.

Of late I’ve been checking out Matt Mushalik’s blog Crude Oil Peak.

One of his recent posts Why the closure of BP’s Brisbane Bulwer refinery reduces Australia’s energy security  is long and detailed. You may not want to bother going through it all.

“Contrary to BP’s media statement the closure of the Bulwer refinery in Brisbane will reduce Australia’s energy security because Australia’s crude oil imports as refinery feedstock come from a dozen or so countries while fuel imports are mainly sourced from just 3 (non-oil producing) countries: Singapore, South Korea and Japan, all of them heavily relying on crude imports from the Middle East.”

Remembering a basic fact of ecology—that diversity promotes stability—it is stupid to cut multiple options down to a few.

Oil companies know oil is running out. They’ve been progressively selling off infrastructure for some time.  This is just another nail in the coffin.

His conclusion is worth noting:

“Australia’s fuel imports neither come from diverse sources nor are they secure because Asian refineries depend heavily on the Middle East for crude oil imports. Needless to say the Middle East is a powder keg. Once US shale oil peaks before 2020, Australia will feel the pain of being a price taker. The BP statement did not alert Australian motorists to the facts that BP’s oil production and product sales are in long term decline and that South East Asian crude oil production is also in terminal decline. These are unacceptable omissions which will result in mis-investments in oil dependent infrastructure. The closure of refineries is part of peak oil and comes without developing natural gas as alternative transport fuel. A smooth transition away from oil isn’t happening.”

Well-known American peak oil blogger, James Howard Kunstler, calls the advancing peak oil crisis a veritable “shit-storm”.

If you’ve done your homework on peak oil, you’ll know that’s putting it mildly.

Keep going with your preparations.

6 Responses to “Australia’s energy security”

  1. notsomethingelse Says:

    Nice observation Foodnstuff. In reality I don’t think it matters where we currently obtain our oil and petroleum stocks because over the next five years or so those sources that still have tappable reserves will, I think, not be releasing it for sale at any price except under extreme duress.

    The US just lost 2/3 of its tight oil reserves overnight 22 May in a puff of smoke and mirrors: http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-05-25/the-great-imaginary-california-oil-boom-over-before-it-started. All crude oil production worldwide is in decline and the shale/tight oil boom razzamatazz will be lucky to last until 2020.

    The ASPO predicts a world oil shortage as soon as later this year unless some sort of OECD miracle of production increase happens: http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-05-26/peak-oil-review-may-26th.

    Kunstler’s description is very apt and while preparations made by those of us who are aware of these things may provide some advantage to us over those who deny or ignore the warnings that are increasingly being given, I am not sure that any of us has done or can do enough to ensure confidence of a successful outcome through the times that are coming.

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  2. Chris Says:

    When I heard of the the excise on fuel, being introduced by the federal government recently, a niggling suspicion wondered if there was something else behind it.

    Conservative governments, after all, try to introduce policies which give consumers more money to spend on business. That’s what creates growth. The Federal Budget under the new government, just seemed like a slowing mechanism to growth.

    So not like a conservative government.

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    • foodnstuff Says:

      Anything that slows growth or even stops it in its tracks has got to be good, but not at the expense of those who are already having problems with living expenses.

      The government needs to admit that the world is running out of oil and come up with some useful policies for the future, not more of the same growth.. growth.. growth. Business as usual is well and truly over.

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  3. narf77 Says:

    I just love how Mr A wants to reduce/remove sustainable options in order to keep dirty fuel cheaper…yeah…SO glad I didn’t vote for this moron!

    Like

  4. prkralex Says:

    South Korea is forced to import 97% of its primary energy demand due to minimal natural energy reserves and a slow starting renewable energy industry. In 2013 this meant the East Asian country was the second-largest importer of liquefied natural gas (LNG), the fourth-largest importer of coal, and the fifth-largest net importer of total petroleum and other liquids, according to the US Energy Information Administration

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