Offshore drilling best solution for Australia's fuel supply shortfall: resources minister

CANBERRA, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- Australian Resources Minister Matthew Canavanon said on Friday that oil exploration in the iconic Great Australian Bight is the best opportunity to guarantee the nation's fuel security.

The Department of Energy and the Environment on Tuesday warned that Australia's low fuel supply was jeopardizing the country's reputation among fellow members of the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The IEA mandates that every member nation has at least 90 days' supply of fuel in reserve. However, the department revealed that Australia has only 27 days of total petroleum products.

As a response, the minister on Friday said that the government was working to increase its storage capacity, but the best way to avoid a crisis was to increase the domestic production of oil.

"One of the biggest opportunities is in waters off South Australia," he told News Corp Australia on Friday.

"The Great Australian Bight is recognised as one of the most prospective offshore oil basins in the world," the minister said.

Environmental groups have been protesting against oil exploration in the bight, an open bay off the central and western portions of Australia's southern coast.

[ Editor: zyq ]


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