Fact sheet

Fact Check: Does Australia have 3 weeks of petrol in reserve?

Liberal Party of Australia Fuel security

In the wake of US airstrikes on Syria, Liberal Senator Jim Molan raised concerns about Australian fuel supplies being affected by conflict in the Middle East. Speaking on radio, Senator Molan criticised the level of fuel held in reserve, saying Australia only had between 19 to 24 days of petrol, between 12 to 17 days of diesel, and 17 to 19 days of aviation fuel. Did Senator Molan get the numbers right? Yes, his claim checks out. The Department of the Environment and Energy releases statistics showing the end-of-month stocks of fuel products in Australia. The data available at the time of Senator Molan's claim, from December 2017, backs up his figures. That publication gave 21 days of petrol stocks, 16 days of diesel and 19 days of aviation fuel - all within the parameters given by the senator. At the time, the data was collected from companies on a voluntary basis. Due to concerns about its reliability, the Government has since begun publishing data collected on a mandatory basis. The petroleum industry takes issue with the exclusion from the data of fuel stocks on ships en route to Australia, but experts told Fact Check there was good reason these stocks were not included.
Verdict: Checks Out

Publication Details
License type:
All Rights Reserved
Access Rights Type: