In Iran war, Straya has 23 days to lights out

This is the amusing joke, the idiot cousin if you will, that every Australian strategic analyst overlooks red faced, via Peter Hartcher:

The leadership in Tehran repeatedly has said that if Iran is not allowed to export oil through the Persian Gulf, no one will. “Either everyone will export, or no one,” as Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei’s international adviser Ali Akbar Velayati put it…So if Iran acts on its threat and disrupts the flow of one-fifth of the world’s oil supply, the world has a problem. But Australia has an especially acute problem. We have one of the smallest stockpiles in the world. With only around three weeks’ supply on hand in Australia, we are the most vulnerable of 25 countries in Asia, according to a fuel resilience measure published by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

“We are 90 per cent dependent on imported fuel for petrol, diesel and aviation fuel, and we only have around 23 days’ supply available in Australia,” points out former Australian army major general Jim Molan. This compares with the international norm of a minimum stockpile of 90 days. Molan, who has just lost his bid to be returned as a Liberal party senator for NSW, spent his year and a half in the Senate trying to galvanise the government into improving Australia’s fuel resilience. To no avail.

The LNP already solved this problem…by driving Jim Molan out of parliament.

David Llewellyn-Smith
Latest posts by David Llewellyn-Smith (see all)


    • The problem is not so much the “$3.50/l petrol” scenario, as the “no petrol at all” scenario. Everybody takes a long staycation at home with the cars in the garage. Then there is food rationing. Then there is no food. Society collapses etc etc…

      It’s similar to the “Water restrictions imposed on Sydney” scenario versus the “You can walk across Sydney’s dams and not get wet feet” scenario that is coming in a couple of years.

      We are truly run by imbeciles.

      • There won’t be none.

        We do produce some oil and refine some petrol.

        But it’ll be *very* expensive and…
        … normally I’d say exports would be banned, but after seeing the gas market, I’m not so sure.

        Then again, petrol prices got Howard to act, so… these wormbrains should.

      • The gubbermint still wouldn’t budge on immigration levels but at least no more planes would come for fear of being stranded here so there’s that to look forward to

      • I know how we can fix this, MOAR immigration. It’s a magic pudding that fixes all ailments.

      • Just be careful not to incinerate yourself while enjoying your Tesla. Given how lonely the roads are likely to be there’ll be no one around to help!

      • It’s interesting to understand how much diesel and oil lubricants are used to run electric power plants and the grid (irrespective of primary energy mix – coal, gas and/or solar). The electricity grid is inextricably intertwined with liquid fossil fuel use – one goes down they both do.

      • I was thinking about this the other day. You’d make yourself a pretty big target under a scenario where the country has ground to a halt. I’m sure the apex gang would be happy to relieve you of your tesla.

      • @Gavin – the typical roof top system will not yield sufficient power to charge a Tesla 3 or the BMWi series – needs about 25 KWH to charge and on a sunny day you might get that in total via rooftop – my 24 panel array will not generate enough power on its own to charge a car and run the house and the power wall will similarly not be adequate. Unfortunately solar is great but is not enough to supply the full range of our power needs.

      • I actually suspect I could find my car ‘nationalised’ under such circumstances. And yes, my solar and battery would be enough to keep my house and car running without the grid. But I’d be on rations for both.

      • EVs are actually less susceptible to fire than COMBUSTION engine cars.

        Anyway, it’s been a long time, so remind me – is Brad a tool?

      • I got the ioniq EV (I Had a Tesla M3 on order and cancelled) put the difference ($21,000) in BTC in March19 now sitting pretty, might just get that M3 after all.

      • But have a much worse effect on account that too many bogans like their big butch 4wd’s and v8 utes. I got a small petrol car in uk that does 50mpg in the old language. The same car in Aus will have a much bigger engine and an auto gearbox and only do 35mpg (in the old language) regardless of manufacturers mileage figures.
        Also in the land of Oz people have to drive more cars per family and more frequently because the suburbs are so sprawled out. I used to do a tank a week 350kms and in the UK do a tank in 6 weeks, roughly 600kms

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      Petrol doesn’t matter : diesel matters. If we don’t have diesel, in one month we’ll be eating each another in the city.

      • Yes that is true – the entire supply chain is built on diesel equipment and contrary to popular myth electric has not made an appreciable dent because of the torque factors in heavy machinery (like tractors used in agriculture/heavy cranes etc).

    • bolstroodMEMBER

      I am chuffed. It is not often I start a conversation here that generates an article.
      Last weekend I posted this;
      June 22, 2019 at 11:30 am
      This must make our security people question our reliance on Oil as the fuel for our transport and energy
      If/when Trump attacks Iran all oil from the ME will cease immediately.
      Australia is at the end of a long and tenuous pipeline.We hold about 2 weeks supply of liquid oil. We have no strategic reserves.
      Our electricity, water, food, transport , mining and agriculture are all reliant on the continued supply of oil.
      Super markets hold 4 days supply barring panic buying.
      A forward thinking government could have moved us to 100% Renewable energy and converted our transport to EV’s, making us immune to the vagaries of lunatics and warmongers.

  1. Who’d have thought the Liberals could suddenly commit a complete about face and embrace renewable self-sufficiency as the strategic masterstroke to overcome our oil dependency – and get nation-building, job-creating infrastructure knocked up by their rentier mates for decades, building export capability and revenues while still cranking immigration ever higher to juice their property returns. They’d be in government for another 20 years.

  2. How crazy are these pollies, did any party ever say we need to fix this? Maybe, but nothing done for years as we de-industralise. Maybe that’s the plan we don’t do industry, and when all the power plants close, we’ll just get by somehow.

  3. haimona12MEMBER

    Hartcher’s point is right. But it’s even worse than that. If the PRC feels free to occupy and militarise the South China Sea when the US military is not preoccupied elsewhere, what would it do if the US military is preoccupied elsewhere?

    • C.M.BurnsMEMBER

      the US navy has 11 carrier battle groups, one of which is permanently stationed in Japan and there are others that are always on deployment in the pacific. From a naval perspective, the US is more than capable of focusing on two parts of the world concurrently.

      They get a lot more constrained when it comes to boots on the ground for any sustained length of time.

      • Must be why the S400 is so not an issue wrt its deployment, let alone the ship stuff, hay how about all and sundry that have zero acumen about things outside their knowlage base keep it down to a low roar, lest they befuddle the unwashed into something stoopid [tm].

      • What about it? It sunk in 1941, partly because Britain had aircraft carriers and Germany didn’t.

      • I don’t think they assumed that about the Bismarck… u-boats were the cornerstone of the Nazi naval strategy

  4. 23 days eh?
    you mean 24 days till Scomo is out of a job?
    Now I’m no longer a dove, but a hawk, President Trump, bring it on!
    Tip buy a couple (minimum )of 20L steel jerrycans from Bunnings or Supercheap, the very day the shooting starts head down to your local petrol station and fill them up along with your car!

    • HadronCollisionMEMBER

      And more 22 and other ammo, plus top up rest of bunker down box
      Just in cases

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      Got 5 stashed in the ceiling space of my garage that I’ve used to cross some of strayas big deserts ……they might come in handy to duck out to the shops in Chatswood or St Ives to see if there is any rice on the shelves ……..if you think milk powder was snapped up ……wait for the rice ….that will be violent ………

  5. Molan was correct on this issue, but in general he seemed pretty dim-witted to me. I’m glad he’s been booted out! I was amazed at how incapable he appeared to be at grasping the simplest technical concept when they were very clearly explained by experts in the PJCIS hearing on the awful Access and Assistance laws last year.

    • True, Molan could have done much more to aid Australia’s defence capabilities regarding fuel, he could have sat on the cross benches or thrown his lot in with Pauline to achieve his aim of greater fuel security.
      Instead he tried and failed to argue the case to a bunch of city lawyers and farmers who run the LNP.

  6. No worries. We have 3 ethanol refineries and a shtiload of Chinese restaurants generating used cooking oil. That should power both the gasoline and diesel fleets.

    Oh, and maybe we’ll finally get gas reservation and also get some of that sweeet sweet LPG back in fashion. Revive the gas-burning falcodores. Sweet as, mates.

  7. When I was in the Navy, we were told that this was our biggest strategic risk. So I’m not surprised that Molan was campaigning for it. My understanding that in a time of war/supply restriction event, after prioritisation of fuel for emergency services/military etc, we would have around 8 days left of the rest of the economy.

  8. turncoatMEMBER

    The Libs are harassing me to renew my membership, but their treatment of Molan and failure to address immigration is giving me second thoughts. Quite frankly I’d feel better supporting Bettina Arndt and Izzy and maybe even, horror of horrors, Mark Latham – once he inevitably assumes Federal leadership of One Nation. More bang for my buck as the saying goes.

    • Don’t feel bad. Quitting the LNP is like throwing off a backpack full of excrement you’ve been lugging around for years, wondering about the effort and where that god awful stench is coming from. I see Pauline hanging on as a figurehead leader to ON, with Latham progressively assuming the real leadership.

  9. reusachtigeMEMBER

    What we would have to do is convert our cars to coal burning engines as we have a competitive advantage in coal

  10. If push comes to shove, Australia itself produces approx. half a Million barrels of crude per day…. it currently consumes about 1 million barrels per day, but this could be rationed… if flights are grounded then we could get close to self-sufficiency /? Time to stock-pile!

    • What’s our refining capacity?

      Hopefully half a million barrels, so that them vibrant flights stay permanently grounded.

      • Cos you know, just like making sh!t, refining crude into valuable products is just too darn hard for us … # Straya #WhatHaveWeBecome !?

      • Quote from page 42:

        “Australia’s fuel imports are geographically focused, with the majority of our product coming from Asia—the
        region closest to us. Commercially this is logical, as it reduces shipping costs and keeps prices low. Most of the
        North Asia refineries are reliant on the Middle East for crude. The cumulative impact of this situation is that
        Australia has a reliance on the Middle East for over 40 per cent of our fuel69, either directly in crude imports or
        via refineries in North Asia.
        This means Australia is potentially exposed to potential fuel supply disruption in Asia and the Middle East.
        While it is extremely unlikely, ongoing tensions in the Middle East may affect oil production and issues such as
        the situation on the Korean peninsula all have the potential to cause disruptions to fuel supply. Disruption of
        traffic through key shipping lanes would impact on fuel cargoes travelling to Australian ports. These scenarios are
        being tested as part of this review, even if they are highly unlikely.”

        – “Highly Unlikely” ???? hmmmm…

      • I know matey. That was largely a rhetorical question.

        Indeed that amount is probably optimistic.

  11. Well well. Not looking as good as when the RAAF bombed 200 men in the Syrian Arab Army as they had ISIS proxy against the democratically elected government of Syria, Assad, on the run. Killed 60 directly, limbs blown off the others. Sanctions prohibit import of prosthetics,

  12. We need to free the Iranian people from its totalitarian regime, and root out its weapons of mass destruction in a coalition of the willing.

  13. And we thought it’s good to close oil refineries and build some dogbox apartments
    it’s important to invest in productive stuff like dogboxes

    • Yes – and the unsightly refinery at Clyde was an eyesore. One only has to look at more recent residential development at, say, Harris Park to see how Sydney will not only be more productive, but more beautiful and – of course – vibrant with the refinery site given over to real estate developers.

      • darklydrawlMEMBER

        There’s no way I would live on an ex refinery site. The contamination of the soil and environment would be problematic despite any clean up attempts. I would predict persistent health issues for the residents over time. Best avoided.

  14. turncoatMEMBER

    Fear not. In 1939 at the start of the 2nd world our reasonably developed manufacturing sector exceeded 20% of overall employment and was usefully turned towards the war effort. Our agricultural work force was also large, physically strong and handy in the way that country folk are. So all we need do is redo that which our parents and grandparents did previously.

    Our baristas will become infantrymen, real estate salesmen artillerymen. Our University safe spaces will be turned into armaments factories with women’s officers finding their inner Rosie the Riveter.

    Suing for peace might be the better option.

  15. This whole Iran debacle is just a ploy for the Donald to get re-elected. Straight out of the Kissinger book, create a problem and then be the solution, or possibly the GW Bush book, actually both Bushes, “An army does not change its General during a war”, so war (real or perceived) perfectly timed to unravel just before Nov 2020.

    I know what is being planned, but I cannot trust either or both the Donald and the Ayatollah regime not to fumble this and turn it into a full blown nuclear war.

  16. What a load of horseshit comments. Marshall Law straight up with Scummo as fucking Dictator. It is the national interest ya know!
    Fucked from without and double fucked from within our own borders. Reusa would be reduced to an Onanist party of one.No arselickers invited but welcome this would be one for the insiders ONLY. Disintegration–long candles short internet and power generation for the masses let alone private cars, jobs etc.
    Maybe we can crowd fund Scommo oh shit that wont be available either.