The recent drone attacks on oil refineries in Saudi Arabia has raised concerns that Australia is not meeting the requirements of maintaining oil stocks for 90 days of consumption to International Energy Agency.
Australia produces half of the oil it consumes and no country has more than marginal power to influence the world market or to restrict the supplies to Australia. The recent drone attack on Saudi Arabia’s refineries increased the oil prices by approximately 15%, which might raise Australian petrol prices by around 10 cents a liter. That’s about half the variation generated every few weeks by the absurd price cycles with which we have lived for years.
Australian Defense Force would be immobilized if Australia runs out of petrol. Though, it desirable that the Australian Defense force should maintain sufficient stock in order to enable it to function in the sudden wartime cut-off of supplies. But that problem that should be addressed by the Australian Defense Force itself, not by a general policy applying to the entire economy.
John Quiggin, professor of economics at the University of Queensland says, “Rather than worrying about our stocks of petrol, we should be focused on ending our dependence on oil. That would require fuel efficiency targets in the short run, and electrification of the vehicle fleet by the 2030s. The current government has rejected the first of these policies and derided the second. The costs of this inaction will come back to haunt us.”