LNG solution to looming 'catastrophe'

LNG CAN help Australia safeguard itself against the effects of a “catastrophic” fuel supply disruption without slugging motorists to cover the cost of meeting the nation’s international oil reserve commitment, according to Gas Energy Australia.

Anthony Barich

GEA CEO Mike Carmody said using more Australian gaseous fuels – namely LNG, liquefied petroleum gas and compressed natural gas – to displace oil-based fuels offered an affordable and environmentally-friendly alternative to “wasting billions of dollars” on stockpiling foreign oil and taxing motorists more to pay for it.

The Energy White Paper conceded that Australia did not meet its International Energy Agency obligation to maintain a 90 day supply of oil, and that rectifying this shortfall would “require an investment of several billion dollars in stocks and storage infrastructure over a decade”

The EWP Issues Paper estimated the cost to be $6.8 billion.

Carmody urged the federal government to follow the findings of leading Australian research bodies, including its own CSIRO and Geoscience Australia, and start investing in Australian transport fuels to combat the fuel security issue.

The UNSW led report, Transport Fuels from Australia’s Gas Resources – Advancing the Nation’s Energy Security, found that Australia’s fuel self-sufficiency could be increased 50-70% by 2030 through the use of natural gas as a transport fuel, compared to just 30-40% using current fuel sources.

GEA is currently working with the Victorian government and the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce to assess the feasibility of building next generation LPG vehicles in Australia.

Carmody said Australia was totally self-sufficient in gaseous fuels which were more affordable and less polluting than petrol or diesel, as well as producing up to 23% less greenhouse gas emissions.

“Every 10% substitution of imported oil by Australian gas also saves $870 million in import costs,” he said.

The Energy White Paper said the government would decide this year how to address the IEA compliance issue.

“I urge [the federal government] to embrace Australian fuel and increase investment in gas instead of raising taxes,” Carmody said.