Australia to tap into oil reserves

Australia and 31 other members of the International Energy Agency (IEA) have collectively agreed to release 60 million barrels of oil from their emergency reserves.

The release of the oil, of which Australia has roughly 1.7 million barrels, is intended to send a unified message to Russia regarding the unacceptable risk they are creating on global energy security.

Angus Taylor, Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction, took part in a meeting with other ministers from IEA member countries to discuss what actions are needed to assure the global market that there will be no shortfall in supplies.

“The global oil market is already showing signs of uncertainty in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and we are continuing to work constructively with our partners to build confidence in the market and help stabilise prices.”

As the international price of oil is the key determination of fuel prices in Australia, the hope is that by releasing additional stocks to the market the supply will increase will avoid a shortfall and create lower petrol prices.

“This significant action – one of four ever taken by the IEA – will increase supplies to the market, helping to put downward pressure on prices both globally and here at home. We know Australian families and businesses have been feeling this pressure at the pump so we hope this global action will ease prices.” 

Australia’s 1.7 million barrels of oil are stored in the United States Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and it will be decided over the coming days the volume of oil that Australia will contribute to the IEA collective action.

“Australia can be relied upon to continue to meet our contractual obligations and contribute important liquidity to the global gas markets while continuing to ensure Australian gas is working for Australians.”

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