Don’t freak out you guys, but the entire country is low on petrol stocks!
And we thought the biggest petrol crisis was the fact that filling up your tank virtually costs the same as a weekly private school payment.
When I drove past my local servo last week, and saw that the price for petrol had crept up over $1.55/litre, I did a double take.
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That is an absurdly high price to pay for fuel, especially because it was $1.29/litre when I had filled up a few days earlier. I’ve never understood how fuel prices can vary so dramatically, so swiftly, but perhaps this is the reason? Good old fashioned supply and demand?
Here’s the bottom line right now, though: although petrol prices are currently high, they could be about to get higher.
Because our petrol stores have dipped to just a 20-day supply. Aviation fuel is down to just 19-days’ supply.
Malcolm Turnbull and his government is all over it, apparently. His Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg has jumped into action and ordered an urgent review of Australia’s fuel reserves, and though he says it “should not be construed as Australia having a fuel security problem”, I struggle to see how else we can construe it?!
As it stands, we have about four weeks’ worth of fuel on standby. Increasing tensions with the middle east – which is where we get the lion’s share of our fuel – are the cause of our dwindling supply.
Twenty years ago, we imported 60% of our fuel from the region, and now we rely on them for a whopping 91%. Australia has closed four refineries in the last 15 years, so we have no backup plan. And I can’t be certain, but I’m fairly confident that we’re not going to see the situation in Syria seamlessly resolve itself in the weeks and months ahead.
But before you get too anxious, it’s important to note that this isn’t a new problem.
Australia faced this issue back in 2012, and 2013, and 2014, and in 2016.
We’ve been here before and we’re still surviving.
That said, it wouldn’t hurt to fill the tank all the way to the top at your next opportunity… just in case!