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Australia to boost fuel security

Joint Media Release from Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, The Hon Angus Taylor MP and Senator The Hon Sarah Henderson

The Morrison Government is boosting the nation’s long-term fuel security by taking advantage of dramatic falls in global oil prices and building on our historic agreement with the United States to access their Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).

Under the new measures, Australia will establish its first Government-owned oil reserves for domestic fuel security.

This will include a deal with the United States to store Australian Government owned crude oil in the US SPR.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the Government would also work with the private sector to consider options for improving domestic fuel security, and would work with refineries on temporary measures to ease the stockpiles of jet fuel.

“The Government is taking action to improve Australia’s fuel security and enhance our ability to withstand global shocks, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, when they reach our shores,” Minister Taylor said.

“The new measures will take advantage of the current low prices for oil and Australia’s privileged position of access to the SPR, which is amongst the world’s most cost-effective long-term oil storage facilities.

Senator Sarah Henderson said this work is a down payment on a stronger and more secure fuel supply for households, motorists and industry in regional Victoria.

“Global oil prices have hit new lows due mainly to a significant drop in demand caused by COVID-19 and we are taking advantage of these reductions,” Senator Henderson said.

“Australians can be assured there is plenty of fuel in the country and we are extremely well placed to keep supplies flowing through the COVID-19 pandemic,”

Australia will spend $94 million to buy oil at the current low global prices. This will also count towards Australia’s IEA 90 day stockpiling commitment.

Today’s COVID-19 fuel security package includes:

  • Purchasing crude oil to store in the US SPR;
  • Launching a process to work with the private sector to identify options to further strengthen our domestic fuel security; and
  • Working on changes to the fuel standards to provide immediate relief to refineries for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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