Australian petroleum inventories

This is a pretty important post from Matt Mushalik at Crude Oil Peak

No glut in Australian petroleum inventories

If you haven’t been keeping up with oil production and decline scenarios, please read it and understand that we would be in real trouble in this country if there was another oil shock. With the problems in the Middle East, that could easily happen virtually overnight.

What would you do if there was an extended break in our oil supply? If there was no fuel at the pump? If supermarkets closed within a week or so because they couldn’t get deliveries? If this went on for months? Have you ever considered the possibility?

Our government is not preparing for such an eventuality. Even the American government, dumb as they are, keeps to the 90-day supply-in-reserve recommendation of the International Energy Agency. We’re a member nation and we refuse to do it.

His conclusion worries me :

The continuing talk of a global oil glut lulls Australian motorists to believe that everything is fine while actually this country’s petroleum stock holdings are minimal. When things go wrong in the Middle East no one will help Australia as IEA obligations have been wilfully ignored by both ALP and Coalition governments.

More links :

Australia nearly completely dependent on imported fuel

Fuel security crisis: Australia’s perilous dependence on imported fuel

Oil is the life blood of our current way of life. Yes, we could scale down to a less energy consuming existence (after all, we lived without oil for thousands of years prior to its discovery), but it can’t be done overnight. We will have to one day, when the world runs out of oil. Do some research. Don’t be like the idiot hairdresser who used to cut my hair and told me (without any supporting facts) that he wasn’t worried because oil will last another 400 years!

How prepared are you? Your family & friends? Your neighbours? Sadly, there’s no-one of my immediate acquaintance who thinks this is serious and worthy of some sort of preparation.



9 Responses to “Australian petroleum inventories”

  1. Sue Says:

    I have been following your posts for some time now (with great interest),, I doubt that makes us acquaintances,, however I would like to give you a tiny bit of assurance — my thoughts for our future are grim,, I am doing my best to grow what I can ( little success when I am not able to source decent seeds!!!!) also, each time the supermarkets put up their !/2 priced items,, I get a few extra for just such a time as “” the supermarkets have run out of food !! “” Thank you for showing us your garden!,, Sue………………


    • foodnstuff Says:

      Hi Sue, thanks for the comment. Like you, I stock up on supermarket ‘specials’; a good way to never pay the regular price.

      How come you are “not able to source decent seeds”? Are you in Australia? I collect a lot of my own seed and would be happy to share with you. There are some very good seed companies in Australia; you don’t always have to rely on small garden centres and places like Bunnings.


  2. notsomethingelse Says:

    I want to write a whole screed on this in agreement but I will restrain myself. Suffice to say that this is not just about driving. Yes, it’s true that you car is never worth more than its next fuel tank fillup. Because that could be the last of its useful life, unless it is big enough to sleep in.

    But a dry-up of oil and petrol is so much, much more than that. I need just mention one thing out of so many: Food security.


  3. Chris Says:

    The problem with storing fuel on the home front, is its shelf life. If we ever had a problem with fuel supplies, everything would go bad for us. I’d probably lose my life, as I need insulin and that requires refrigeration and transport.

    So its not exactly something we can plan for. My slow and impending death I suppose. 😉


    • foodnstuff Says:

      Assuming you still have refrigeration, what’s the shelf life of insulin and therefore how much could you store at any one time….a year’s supply?


      • Chris Says:

        Refrigeration would be the major issue for us, because I’m assuming if there’s a petrol crisis, electricity supply will go, as coal and what not, completely rely on petroleum. And in that case we have a generator, which would also run on petrol, which may be a problem accessing supplies for also.

        Shelf life for insulin depends on the expiry date, but can last up to 2 years. Depends how old the stock is when you purchase it. I’m assuming insulin may become more expensive also, because it has to travel from overseas manufacturers. Most insulin is not made in Australia.

        So if anything really changes the way the world runs, I’m dead any way you look at it. That’s not meant to be morose. It’s just the way it will be.

        There’s only one technique I can assume may prolong my life, but it would still be a downward spiral as my pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin at all – and that is to only eat animal flesh or vegetables with low carbs. Nothing with natural sugars either, ie: fruits.


        • foodnstuff Says:

          I didn’t know you don’t produce any at all. I have a friend with the same problem. It’s no fun for her either.

          Could you put battery storage on some of your solar panels to store just enough power to run a small fridge? I realise a complete off-grid system would be very expensive. I’d love to go off-grid but the budget….


  4. Bek Says:

    That’s a very interesting point. I suppose on some level I’ve known that we over-rely on petroleum, but when you think practically about day to day life you realise we’d be completely screwed without it.
    I suppose I could live off the garden, fruit and veg wise, if absolutely necessary. But grains and protein would be my major issue. I could store grains like rice and wheat for grinding if needed, but I’d need to be able to buy them. I can get around by bike, so transport for myself for day to day activities would not be impacted.
    Would train be able to compensate for some transport of essential goods ie, food, medicines, etc? If growers were near train lines and able to train to major centers in key areas? Would we go back to horse and cart? Bike trailers? Surely electric transport would not be a option due to technology required?
    I don’t know enough about how this could impact our lives. Thanks for opening my eyes.


    • foodnstuff Says:

      Of course I’m only talking about an oil shock here, i.e. a break in the supply of oil. It could go on for months or, like the ones in the 70’s, it could be over in a few days. The deeper problem is that global oil production has peaked and is in decline, so there will be a gradual decline in the amount available from year to year. Don’t be put off by the current low prices—eventually supply will fail to meet demand and prices will rise, of everything that depends on oil. Food security especially will be a major problem. Nothing else comes near oil for convenience and energy density. Oil is the major transport fuel. We simply aren’t preparing for the end of the oil age and it is in sight, for most people alive today.

      Yes protein will be a major problem, for me too, although thankfully here that will help keep the rabbits down!

      Looks like I need to do a post about my ideas and efforts for food storage for an extended survival period.


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