Australian Institute of Energy
Oil & Gas Special Interest Group
Interesting and Useful Articles
Australia's Liquid Fuel Security: A Report for NRMA Motoring and Services
John Blackburn AO, 28 February 2013
In the Draft Energy White Paper, 2011, it was written that: " Australia must have a mature debate about our energy sector and implications of different decisions. This means there must be a deeper community engagement in energy policy issues and outcomes." This report is a contribution towards that engagement. It makes eight recommendations.
Report on Australia's oil refinery industry
House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics, January, 2013
"Despite the changes over the last decade and recent closures, evidence to the committee suggests that going forward there is a role for the Australian oil refinery industry, with groups acknowledging that some domestic refining capacity is a worthwhile complement to imports as part of having reliable, mature and diverse supply chains for liquid fuels."
House of Representatives, Standing Committee on Economics
Inquiry into Australia' Oil Refinery Industry
This inquiry into Australia's oil refining industry is about to commence. At time of writing, 21 submissions had been published. Readers with interests in oil refining will find these submissions of value.
An analysis of coal seam gas production and natural resource management in Australia.
Williams J., Stubbs T., and Milligan A. October 2012. A report prepared for the Australian Council of Environmental Deans and Directors by John Williams Scientific Services Pty Ltd, Canberra, Australia.
There has been no greater influence on Australia's energy markets than coal seam gas since production began over 40 years ago of natural gas and crude oil. This commercial development has ensured that the East Coast again had adequate supplies of natural gas, sufficient enough to lay the foundations for a large LNG industry in Gladstone and that domestic natural gas prices will in future reflect export parity for LNG, the same concept as import parity for crude oil. In order to ensure that this development was managed well, an Independent Expert Scientific Committee on CSG is being established under COAG. This report is the most independent, disinterested nationwide analysis yet undertaken and makes two key findings: Firstly, the environmental risks, especially with groundwater, are serious, and neither decommissioning wells nor replenishing aquifers have been properly considered and Secondly, this is another land use which needs to be regulated than like all others.
Biofuels Issues and Trends
This report is about ethanol and biodiesel. In the US, gasoline has now reached the mandated 10% ethanol content (9.6% in 2011).The EPA has approved its increase to 15% for model year 2001 and newer cars and light trucks but almost no progress has been made to-date due to concerns about warranties. As a result, there has been a marked increase in exports. The federal excise tax credits for non-cellulosic ethanol expired at the end of 2011. Biodiesel reached 1.5% by volume in 2011. Production of cellulosic biofuels remains far below targets.
Ensuring Canadian Access to Oil Markets in the
The market todate for Canada's oil sands' bitumen (and natural gas) has largely been confined to Canada and the US. As a result of the US holding up potential growth in exports, Canada has started to look at alternative markets in Asia-Pacific. This report provides a comprehensive overview of the outlook for Alberta's crude oil and bitumen production, which would need be based upon a new oil pipeline infrastructure. It also examines unnecessary regulatory and other barriers that are inhibiting the development of pipelines and port facilities, including processes and procedures, First Nations' opposition and unwieldy environmental review processes, constraints with which developers in Australia too are well aware.
Light vehicle CO2 emission standards for
Australia. Key issues-Discussion Paper
The Government has decided that mandatory carbon dioxide emission standards will apply to new light vehicles from 2015.The Department of Infrastructure and Transport has been given responsibility to develop the standards, in consultation with industry and key stakeholders, and will present recommendations for later consideration by Government. Current Australian standards lag a long way behind those in the EU and, in some cases, the US.
Oil: The Next Revolution
This paper makes the case that oil supply capacity is growing at a level which might exceed consumption and could lead to a glut and a steep dip in oil prices.
The Oil Market to 2030-Implications for Investment and Policy
Mark Finley, General Manager, Global Energy Markets & US Economics, BP.
'Oil demand is likely to continue growing.
Global resources are adequate, but policies of countries that own the
majority of the resources are likely to constrain the pace, leaving high
cost supply options viable, as are the policies of the governments of
consuming countries. Markets matter, for consumers and producers respond
to price signals but markets are also hindered by subsidy regimes and
restrictions on access'.
An Anatomy of Crude Oil Pricing
Bassam Fattouh, Director of the Oil and Middle East Programme, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, January, 2011
There is no greater mystery for those outside the industry than the setting of the crude oil price. This article sets out to enhance the understanding of this process, for the current system has survived, more or less, for almost a quarter of a century. Although alternative pricing systems could be devised, the reality remains that market players such as the oil companies, refineries, oil exporting countries, physical traders and financial players have no interest in changing it. Whilst governments often get excited about oil price behaviour and local impacts, they too have shown little interest in the pricing system and the market structure that signalled such price behaviour in the first place.
Keeping the home fires burning: Australia's energy security.
A. Davies , E. Mortimer, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Strategic Insights 54, December 2011
'Australia, like all modern economies, needs an assured supply of energy to function effectively. This report examines Australia's vulnerability to interruptions in the oil supply over the next few years. It also looks at mechanisms by which Australia can adjust to the new realities and concludes that current renewable energy technologies are unlikely to meet demand for a substantial proportion of Australia's needs'.
Liquid fuels vulnerability assessment
ACIL Tasman, October 2011
This rigorous study is essential reading for those interested in the security of transport fuels from an Australian perspective. It was prepared for the Department of Resources , Energy and Tourism. It found that 'there has been no significant change in Australia's liquid fuels vulnerability since the 2008 review. 2020 adequacy in terms of suppliers being able to keep up with demand has been maintained'.
Gulf of Conflict, A History of US-Iranian Confrontation at Sea.
David B. Crist, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Policy Focus #95, June 2009.
For the last thirty years, Iran and the United States have been locked in a hostile embrace and, on several occasions during the latter phases of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, engaged in open, if undeclared, conflict in the Persian Gulf. This study analyses the strategy, operations and tactics behind these clashes and discusses the impact of that historic confrontation on today's Iranian military.
Transport energy futures: long term oil supply trends and projections
Dr David Gargett, Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE), Report 117, 2009
This study examines the oil production
(conventional, deep water and non-conventional) prospects of over
40 countries, including Australia, and regions, as a preliminary to
delineating the scope of the oil depletion challenge. Using the method
used by the author, forecasts for these 40 countries have been produced.
The study concludes that we are currently in a plateau which will
commence to decline about 2017, depending upon the demand for oil during
Oil Shocks in a Global Perspective: Are they Really that Bad?
T.N Rasmussen and A. Roitman, International Monetary Fund, Working Paper WP/11/194, August 2011
Recent events have encouraged a number of studies about the impact of oil shocks and their conclusion vary. This study is the most recent one and concluded that "For a given level of world GDP, we do find that oil prices have a negative effect on oil-importing countries and also that cross-country differences in magnitude of impact depend to a large extent on the relative magnitude of oil imports. The effect is still not particularly large , however, with our estimates suggesting that a 25 percent increase in oil prices will cause a loss of real GDP in oil-importing countries of less than half of one percent, spread over 2-3 years."
President Obama Announces Historic 54.5mpg Fuel
President Obama has announced an agreement with thirteen automakers, the United Auto Workers and the State of California to increase fuel economy for cars and light duty trucks to 54.5 mpg by Model Year 2025. This measure was introduced to reduce imports of crude oil and emissions of carbon dioxide. This amounts to an improvement of 5% per annum.
Prospects for crude oil supply and demand
Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) UK, June 2011
In order to gain an update on the views of the industry about future demand and supply of oil, DECC sought evidence in the following areas:
A summary of responses is attached but more details of evidence can be found at www.decc.gov.uk
A. Future Global Need for the
Increase in Iraq's Oil Production
The Joint Operating Environment 2010
United States Joint Forces Command, Feb 2010
In recent months both the US and German military have published analyses of peak oil. To quote from the US study "Petroleum must continue to satisfy most of the demand for energy out to 2030. Assuming the most optimistic scenario for improved production ....petroleum production will be hard pressed to meet the expected future demand of 118 million barrels per day"
Task Force on Commodity Futures Markets, Report to G-20, June 2010
Technical Committee of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions
The IOSCO Technical Committee created a Task Force in response to global concerns about the price increases and volatility in oil and food products.It made five recommendations, including 'continued monitoring of the futures markets in order to improve understanding of futures price formation and the interaction between regulated futures markets and related commodity markets' and 'ensure that futures markets regulators have the necessary legal framework to detect and take enforcement with respect to manipulation'.
EPA and NHTSA Finalize Historic National Program to Reduce Greenhouse Gases and Improve Fuel Economy for Cars and Trucks
New fuel consumption standards will apply to passenger cars, light
duty trucks and medium duty vehicles, covering model years 2012 through
2016. The rules will simultaneously reduce greenhouse gas emissions,
improve energy security, increase fuel savings and provide clarity and
predictability for manufacturers. They will also trigger further
consolidation of the oil refining industry.
Waxman-Markey (H.R. 2454) Refining Sector Impact
The Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act is the US equivalent of Australia's proposed ETS. Whilst a number of studies have looked upon its impact, this study looked at the US refining industry in its interaction with the global refining industry, using EnSys WORLD Model. It thus studied the competitiveness of the domestic refining sector and impacts that could result in an increase in refining abroad at the expense of stranding US refining capacity, with consequences for US product imports and net global refinery CO2 emissions.
Its methodology and conclusions should be of value and interest to the Australian refining industry.
World Energy Outlook, 2008, Chapter
10, Field-by-Field Analysis of Oil Production. Is decline
This study is based on "data for 580 of the world's largest fields that have passed their production peak". IEA has just released its 2009 WEO, which can be bought from their web site, and in order to encourage debate on 'peak oil', released this chapter from its 2008 WEO free of charge.
Sweden and the NEGP: A Pilot Study
of the North European Gas Pipeline and Sweden's Dependence on Russian
Global Oil Depletion, An assessment of the evidence for a near -term peak in global oil production. August 2009
UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC)
This report has been produced by the UK Energy Research Centre's Technology and Policy Assessment (TPA) function to address the question "What evidence is there to support the proposition that the global supply of 'conventional oil ' will be constrained by physical depletion before 2030 ". Despite much popular attention, the growing debate on 'peak oil' has had relatively little impact on energy and climate policy but now there is a growing consensus that the age of cheap oil is coming to an end.
The UKERC is funded by the UK Research Councils.
Resource Nationalism, Bargaining
and International Oil Companies: Challenges and Change in the New
The paper was presented at ISA's 50th Annual Convention in New
York City, 15 February, 2009.
Vehicle Fuel Efficiency Working Group, Final Report April, 2009
Australian Transport Council and Environment Protection and Heritage Council
This report is in response to a request from the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) to 'develop a package of vehicle fuel efficiency measures designed to move Australia toward international best practice'. It is based on extensive consultations with stakeholders and makes a number of recommendations for consideration by COAG as soon as appropriate. As such, it provides essential understanding of options for reducing emissions of carbon dioxide from vehicles and hence, indirectly, prepare Australia better for 'peak oil'.
After the $147-Barrel Bubble (Part I and Part II)
Matthew Hulbert, The Globalist , 9th July, 2009
Matthew Hulbert has described the lessons producer states should have learnt from recent oil price volatility. In particular, he analyses how politics often dictate price and why real political and economic reforms in states such as Iran and Saudi Arabia are being passed over.
Transit Troubles-Pipelines as a Source of Conflict
Paul Stevens, Chatham House
Whilst direct pipelines between a supplier and a customer create a degree of interdependence, transit pipelines can, and have, been a source of conflict. This article analyses the role of oil and gas pipelines, the sources of political and commercial conflict between the various parties and the options to improve the situation in the future.
The Long Aftershock
Peter Jackson et al, CERA
This report has analysed the impact of recent cancellations and deferments upon future oil production capacity. It has concluded that if prolonged low oil prices persist, a new period of tight supply and strongly rising oil prices is possible. (The IEA , incidentally, shares that view).
OPEC's Capacity and Commitment to
Meeting World Oil Demand in the Medium-Term
Any analysis of the oil industry will be incomplete without an appreciation of the views of OPEC. In this comprehensive speech the Secretary General addresses the issues of spare capacity, expected demand and downside risks, low prices and price volatility.
Is Oil's Future Sustainable?
Mathew R Simmons, Simmons and Company International.
Simmons is one of the most insightful American observers of the oil industry.
In this presentation he addresses the issue of ageing infrastructure
and shortage of skilled staff.
The Coming Oil Supply Crunch
Paul Stevens, Chatham House
The case is made that lack of investment by both the national and
international oil companies will lead to a major supply shortage.
The Oil Crunch
First report by the UK Industry Taskforce on Peak Oil & Energy Security
This article examines the two alternative views on peak oil and concludes that supply shortages could occur sooner rather than later with dramatic effect and well ahead of any impact of implementation of rigorous emissions targets.
Crude Oil -Supply Outlook
Jorg Schindler and Werner Zittel - Energy Watch Group/Ludwig-Boelkow-Foundation
This study provides a useful introduction to the various definitions of reserves, the methodologies for their application, the estimates of reserves by different authorities and the 'actuals' underpinning such estimates.It reflects a rigorous German approach and their perspective of the future.
Australia's future oil supply and alternative transport fuels
The Senate, Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport
This Committee made 10 recommendations on the various oil supply and demand issues facing Australia, based on a thorough examination of the industry.