Long-term and short-term liquid fuel security in Australia: what role for the Great Australian Bight?

Tina Soliman Hunter*, Madeline Taylor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This article hypothesises that Australia's long-term and short-term liquid fuel security will not be improved by the exploitation of petroleum resources in the frontier Great Australian Bight (GAB) basin. This analysis demonstrates that significant challenges arise regarding Australia's energy policy which promotes the development of the GAB, due to corporate imperatives, global economic conditions, and localised challenges such as depth, distance, and prevailing weather. Furthermore, the closure of over half of Australia's refineries has placed structural demands on Australian refinery capacity. Therefore, even if oil were to be found in the GAB and developed, Australia's current policy approaches to downstream refining capacity mean that any oil discovered would likely be exported. Short term, such policy frameworks would cause a significant deficit in Australia's International Energy Agency (IEA) stockpile capacity, requiring the leasing of oil stocks from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve to meet IEA demands. Given these insecurities, this article postulates that Australia's energy security policy, and particularly its liquid fuel security policy, should be revisited, revised, and reformed to ensure liquid fuel security for all sectors of the economy.
Original languageEnglish
Article number112472
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalEnergy Policy
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • petroleum
  • liquid fuel
  • Great Australian Bight
  • oil security
  • refining capacity


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