One of Australia’s peak petroleum bodies says the nation does not need its own strategic oil stock reserves, despite the bombing of several Saudi Arabian oil stations.
Energy Minister Angus Taylor downplayed the impact of drone strikes on Saudi Arabian oil fields, saying he expects there to be a minimal price impact.
There have been growing calls for Australia to have its own strategic fuel stocks from Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick and others, as tensions with Iran unfold.
Australian Institute of Petroleum chief executive Paul Barrett told The Australian on Monday that Australia was well supplied for crude oil, and that past Middle East crises show there is no need for strategic stocks.
“The bottom line is the crude oil market is a global market and it is well supplied,” Mr Barrett said.
“The Saudis have significant stocks and President Trump has said he will release stocks.
“We don’t support strategic stocks in Australia. We have seen over many, many years the resilience of global markets.
“There have been adjustments in prices but back over the history of the past 20 years – Gulf War 1 and 2, Hurricane Katrina, the Libyan crisis – the market has pulled through.
“The government has plenty of options. We’re obviously monitoring the situations and we’ll be making judgments accordingly.”
The drone strikes are expected to strip at least five per cent from global oil supplies, with some analysts predicting wholesale barrel prices could increase by 50 per cent.
Mr Taylor told ABC News Breakfast this morning that while he condemned the attacks, there was “no immediate” threat to Australian fuel stocks.
“There are ample commercial stocks globally, and that’s the key to making sure that this is as manageable as possible and that the impact is minimised,” he said.
When asked about Australia’s “woefully inadequate” reserves sitting at just 28 days when the global minimum is 90 days, Mr Taylor said Australia’s fuel stocks were “much higher than that.”
“On our definition they’re close to 90 and that includes stock on water…” he said. “The impact will be determined by global stocks not Australian stocks. This is a global disruption.”
Extracted from The Australian