As I write this, Cyclone Oma is lurking off the coast, trying to decide whether to visit the Sunshine State. We are on alert and busily working on our preparations – clearing drains; tying everything down;
stocking up on provisions and batteries. We want to be ready in case she (or he?) does wander across the coast.
Of course by the time you read this, maybe we’ll be in the middle of the storm; or maybe she will just have fizzled out into a harmless low as many such weather systems have done before. We just don’t know. Despite the uncertainty – or maybe because of it – we still do everything we can to be prepared.
In a way, that’s a good metaphor for QER’s mission. As our State and our Country become more and more reliant on transport fuel imports – a finite and depleting global resource –we know there’s a growing chance of future disruption to the long and complex fuel supply chain that we depend on to connect our communities.
We don’t exactly know what a storm in the global oil market might look like or where it would go. But we do know that the world continues to steadily increase its oil-based fuel consumption. The world uses about 100 million barrels (16,000 million litres) of oil every day, and every year, that consumption increases by more than 1 million barrels a day. Each year, about 4 million barrels a day of production capacity runs out. This means that the world needs to find 1800 million barrels of ‘new’ oil every year. All the countries in the world are competing for that diminishing resource.
Knowing all that, and the fact that the kerogen shale right under our feet could meet Queensland’s and Australia’s fuel needs for decades, we think it makes good sense to keep progressing the development of the technology and the resource. Maybe with the advent of new technologies we won’t need some of that oil, but so far it’s looking like our current transport fuel needs will keep growing, and for a long time to come. It’s better to be prepared!