Altona Refinery. Bob Tan, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Major Aussie Refinery Closing, Due to Hostile Government Policy

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Despite desperate last minute offers of subsidies from the Federal Government, one of the last oil refineries in Australia is set to close, along with a string of dependent industries, thanks to years of political hostility towards manufacturing and petrochemicals.

Altona refinery closure to ripple across industry

Angela Macdonald-Smith
Senior resources writer
Updated Feb 10, 2021 – 7.29pm,first published at 10.19am

Fears are growing that the shutdown of ExxonMobil’s Altona oil refinery will trigger a domino-like series of closures of petrochemical businesses in Melbourne’s west, causing the loss of up to 2000 jobs as well as critical manufacturing capability and fuel security.

About 300 jobs are directly impacted by the closure, which was confirmed by the US major on Wednesday, but the indirect impact on administrators, contractors and manufacturers that rely on the 72-year-old refinery for business means the effect will be much broader, Australian Workers’ Union national secretary Daniel Walton said.

Steve Bell, chief executive of basic plastics maker Qenos, which uses LPG from the Exxon plant, confirmed the concerns around the shutdown go much wider than energy production.

“As manufacturers and unions have identified, this is also about jobs, the economy, and the future of energy-intensive, value-adding manufacturing in this country,” Mr Bell said.

He said the decision – which came despite subsidies offered by the Morrison government – reinforced the need for Canberra to get the policy settings right on gas to secure competitive prices for manufacturers and protect jobs.

“Australia’s fuel security, low for many years, is now almost zero,” tweeted Australian Industry Group policy adviser Tennant Reed. “If anything ever impedes the freedom of the seas, we are toast.”

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The closure of Altona Refinery will leave Australia with three functioning oil refineries, down from eleven just a few decades ago, and a massive dependency on fuel imports. Any disruption to shipping, say if military conflict kicks off in the South China Sea, would cripple Australia’s economy and likely lead to rapid degradation of Australia’s defence capabilities.

What led to all those refineries closing? As far as I can tell the main culprits were a hostile regulatory environment, like Victorian state restrictions on fracking and exploration, increasing compliance costs, and a choking off of the supply of crude oil to Australian refineries.

With compliance costs rising, and volumes plummeting, there was simply no point keeping the refineries open. The closure of the refineries is in turn triggering a domino series of closures of dependent industries, many of which were co-located next to the refineries; businesses which utterly relied on the steady flow of petroleum products from the refineries to function.

This same scenario could easily play out in the next few years in the USA. Biden has already moved to choke the supply of crude oil to US refineries, with his cancellation of Keystone and Federal drilling bans.

The easiest way for companies to protect their oil refineries from the promised wave of punitive environmental regulations and carbon levies is to move the refining operations and if necessary company headquarters overseas, out of reach of US federal regulators, and then starve the USA of gasoline until the profit from rising prices balances out any Biden imposed taxes and costs.

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February 11, 2021 10:13 am

Close all and try to survive, you’ll see how far you come.

Reply to  Krishna Gans
February 11, 2021 12:17 pm

I’ve been trying to work out the ultimate culprit for all this lunacy, and I’ve come to the conclusion that the subsidised expansion of higher education is chiefly to blame – taxpayers have essentially paid for the “long march through the institutions” that is going to ruin their lives.

Joe B
Reply to  observer
February 11, 2021 12:54 pm

the key to a root understanding of what is taking place will be found in the frantic warnings put forth by Yuri Bezmenov almost 40 years ago.
As an active participant in the non kinetic global war of psychological neutering of the USSR’s enemies (aka the West/Capitalism), he had an insider’s perspective of the ongoing successful operations, of which your stated educational institutions are but one component.

Post the 1992 break from Headquarters Moscow, a massive, clumsily transparent shift of resources into Bejing rapidly transformed an agrarian backwater into the global colossus we see today.

Reply to  Joe B
February 11, 2021 7:17 pm

It is scary how accurate Yuri described what happened to the United States. He was off though in how long he thought it would take. Everyone should see his interviews, Before they are disappeared from the internet. Almost Everything he said would happen, has in the USA

patrick healy
Reply to  Joe B
February 12, 2021 4:14 am

Back in the nineteen twenties a Mr Lenin said “First we will take Eastern Europe, then the teeming masses of the East. Next we will surround the last bastion of Capitalism – the United States of America, We will not need to invade, rather it will fall as ripe fruit into our basket/hands”.

Reply to  observer
February 11, 2021 3:04 pm

The root cause is government, period. It can only expand, never shrink, and every expansion brings more intrusion into people’s lives, and makes it literally more profitable to sic the government on your neighbors and competitors before they sic government on you.

Reply to  Felix
February 11, 2021 4:57 pm

Australian refineries have been closing since the 1980s , despite the bigger car numbers, increased heavy truck mileage/usage and a boom in aviation.
The real reason is the competition from asian mega refineries who have newer complexes which sell fuel at lower margins.
The situation is obvious when you see many of the closed refineries are still keeping their tank storage and wharves for the import tankers.
Its called outsourcing, some may have heard of it.

Reply to  Duker
February 11, 2021 7:33 pm

And the reason why outsourcing is cheaper is because of government.

Reply to  MarkW
February 11, 2021 8:13 pm

No it isnt. Its a normal process of ‘unrestrained’ capitalism

Reply to  Duker
February 11, 2021 10:53 pm

Australian capitalism is so “restrained” you can’t say the difference from socialism

Reply to  Duker
February 12, 2021 12:11 am

It’s unrestrained capitalism restrained by government regulation in Australia and lip-service regulation by Asian countries

Reply to  Duker
February 12, 2021 2:14 pm

Wow, extreme socialism is actually unrestrained capitalism?

I suspect you are one of those people who believe that everything that isn’t pure communism is some form of capitalism.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  MarkW
February 11, 2021 11:06 pm

Not at all.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Duker
February 11, 2021 11:07 pm

Industry across the board. The only “industries” left will be housing and health!

Reply to  Patrick MJD
February 12, 2021 8:19 am

You forgot welfare

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Lrp
February 13, 2021 1:06 am

I did forget pensions for politicians, so you got me there!

Reply to  Felix
February 12, 2021 2:52 am

But who is financing Big Brother government ? Not the taxpayer. The direct tax system was only invented to control the population. It gave those in power the tool to know EVERYTHING about you. Freedom and a Direct Taxation system cannot coexist. So Who can print all it needs to corrupt the system ? 

Reply to  observer
February 12, 2021 2:11 pm

The far left is pushing Biden to excuse all school loans.

Reply to  Krishna Gans
February 11, 2021 12:21 pm

Most of the surviving will go back where they came from, but the remainder i.e. Aborigines will do just fine. Eric needs to book one way airline ticket before prices take off into stratosphere.

Reply to  Vuk
February 11, 2021 4:51 pm

“Eric needs to book one way airline ticket”


To where.?

The whole world is becoming infected/infested with socialist/marxist, totalitarian, anti-people moroons !!

old engineer
Reply to  fred250
February 11, 2021 6:22 pm

To where.?”

I have wondered about that too. Where would someone in the U.S. move if the worst predictions about Democrat policies come true? Certainly not Australia or Europe,

My answer, from very little knowledge (which I know is a dangerous thing) is: South Korea. South Korea is an economic power house. I have done engineering contract work for a couple Korean companies. The Koreans I met were straight-forward, easy to talk with, people. The one time I visited Korea (Seoul, and Inchon) I was impressed.

Perhaps someone with experience living in the country could comment.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  old engineer
February 11, 2021 11:08 pm

South Korea, Thailand and around there.

February 11, 2021 10:17 am

Will there be enough “coding” jobs for everyone?

Reply to  Ack
February 11, 2021 10:19 am

There will be enough Green jobs, beside these going to China.

Reply to  Krishna Gans
February 11, 2021 1:44 pm

There will be enough green jobs to go round, broad acre farming with manual labour springs to mind

Jeff Labute
Reply to  Ack
February 11, 2021 12:51 pm

I don’t think Australia has enough electricity for coding jobs.

Reply to  Jeff Labute
February 11, 2021 3:04 pm

abacus coding

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Jeff Labute
February 11, 2021 11:09 pm

It will because domestic used of “electrckery” will be rationed.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
February 12, 2021 2:58 am

By your ‘smart’ meter

Ron Long
February 11, 2021 10:18 am

What a story. Shocking to see the globalist elites flying around in their private jets when the creeping damage to both jobs and the production capacity is being fed into the CAGW scam. I wonder how bad it has to get before the idiots voting/tolerating this culture destruction realize they have been had? Especially when the promised green jobs don’t show up!

Reply to  Ron Long
February 11, 2021 10:22 am

Closing refineries leads to less fuel for aviation, at least I’ll suggest, than is game over for private jets.
First reflect, than act. Only, that isn’t the Green way 😀

Reply to  Krishna Gans
February 11, 2021 1:07 pm

You think Greens and corporate jet-owning global elitists are the same thing? Wow haven’t 1% propagandists done a fine job on you.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Loydo
February 11, 2021 1:29 pm

Shall we run down the list of Hollywood climate activists that make a habit of jetting from one Green-fest to another, or are you going to quit while you’re behind?

Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
February 11, 2021 1:35 pm

Some use super-yachts, is what I think Loy-dumb is trying to say.

Bryan A
Reply to  fred250
February 11, 2021 10:49 pm

And what fuels those super-yachts?
A few, like the Black Pearl, are masted
But most, like the Azzam, run on Diesel

Reply to  Bryan A
February 12, 2021 3:05 am

Soon to be a galley/ super-yacht rower/slave will be a green job.

Reply to  Loydo
February 11, 2021 1:34 pm


TOTALLY UNAWARE , as always !!

Reply to  fred250
February 11, 2021 5:40 pm

Loy-dumb. Classy put down Fred…. if you are 6 (an immature 6).

Reply to  Simon
February 11, 2021 9:51 pm

Poor slimon, bereft of everything.

You are a mindless non-entity, simpleton..

And yes, Loy keeps proving just how dumb he is.

Just as you keep proving how “SIMPLE” you are.

With clueless twerps like you and Loy, it is essential that people keep pointing out to you, just how simple and dumb you really are.

There is no way you will figure it out for yourself.

Last edited 1 year ago by fred250
Reply to  fred250
February 11, 2021 11:11 pm

Well that one is better. Expanding on “dumb” is good. At least a at a 7 year old level.

Reply to  Simon
February 12, 2021 2:16 am

Your incompetence is showing through as always, insipid moron.

You and Loy cannot help being DUMB and SIMPLE.

Your minds are incapable of anything else.

Last edited 1 year ago by fred250
Reply to  fred250
February 12, 2021 10:09 am

You and Loy cannot help being DUMB and SIMPLE.”
I get that you are just expressing yourself as best you can here Fred, but given this site has a policy that states:

  • Respect is given to those with manners, those without manners that insult others or begin starting flame wars may find their posts deleted.
  • Publishing comments in SHOUTING MODE (all caps) is not acceptable.”

I do wonder why the mods here allow such comments?

Komerade Cube
Reply to  fred250
February 13, 2021 4:55 pm

Loydo, is paid to spout this drivel.

Reply to  Loydo
February 11, 2021 2:00 pm

While not all greens are global elites, pretty much all global elites are greens.

Reply to  MarkW
February 11, 2021 3:17 pm

Essentially, greens are Marxists, but because marxism/comunism sound scary to the woke, they call themselves greens. At the same time the woke elites virtue signal their green credentials in order to be popular, and to profit from the green triggered power shift.

Reply to  Lrp
February 11, 2021 5:37 pm

Posing as green, woke, socialist is a deliberate tactic used by the elites to give themselves cover from the rabid Marxist mobs who would otherwise be burning their mansions, running off with their luxury assets and stripping their bank accounts.

“See, we’re on your side”

Reply to  MarkW
February 12, 2021 3:08 am

The by progressives so hated 1 %

Reply to  Loydo
February 11, 2021 3:10 pm

what about the former Department of Climate Change, and their globetrotting habits? And the Climate Council and all those countless people sucking at the federal and state budgets teat and producing nothing other than methane gas?

Reply to  Loydo
February 12, 2021 9:52 am

As usual, you confuse the one part of what I said with an other part of what I said. Short, no, I don’t think that by 20 %.

Reply to  Ron Long
February 11, 2021 10:31 am

Same as it ever was, same as it ever was.

Reply to  gringojay
February 11, 2021 3:17 pm

where are the dragons?

Reply to  Ron Long
February 11, 2021 12:44 pm

The political fallout from these traitorous government moves will be handled in the usual fashion, straight out of Labor’s political playbook –

Victorian state premier Dan Andrews will announce that he’s stepping down just before the next election, saying he wants to “spend more time with the family”.

Then the Labor machine will set up a “hospital pass” to some naive, expendable female MP to take over from Dan Andrews.

Clarky of Oz
Reply to  Mr.
February 11, 2021 2:14 pm

“some naive, expendable female MP”

A perfect candidate would be the current Minister for Police and Emergency Services but I guess there are others.

Reply to  Mr.
February 12, 2021 4:10 am

hes just locked the entire bloody state down again!!! for 5 days to begin with
masks mandatory everywhere again no visits etc
5km limit to travel
this just as valentines day was going to help the restaurants etc get some work, weddings cancelled the lot
called it at 12pm so no one got enough notice to cancel deliveries etc and cant sell what food flowers etc they have in for it.
funny they managed to do the same just before mothers day fathers day and xmas n yr was iffy
oh and its chinese n yr I gather as well
and why?
becuae a few os travellers got covid UK and some staff and relatives who worked the hotel quarantine all up just 13 cases over more than 7 days and they go full headless chicken mode

Patrick MJD
Reply to  ozspeaksup
February 13, 2021 1:01 am

He’s a dickhead! The ENTIRE state for 13 “cases” in the SAME QUARANTINE hotel in the CBD of Melbourne? Dickhead he is! Shows his “world class” policy isn’t working!

Last edited 1 year ago by Patrick MJD
Reply to  Ron Long
February 11, 2021 2:19 pm

I wonder how bad it has to get before the idiots voting/tolerating this culture destruction realize they have been had? 

Who do we vote for? The Liberal (red) party in the West Australian State election has just come out with a policy for carbon neutral by 2030. Nine years!! The madness never ends.

John K. Sutherland
February 11, 2021 10:18 am

The domino effect is starting in Australia. It will certainly move to the US, as industries of many stripes, leave. I would like to think that we in Canada might benefit, but one only has to read Rex Murphy’s commentary in the National Post, about our ‘Worst in History’ PM, and I realize that I should not hold my breath, waiting. Good luck, World. There are tough times ahead.

Reply to  John K. Sutherland
February 11, 2021 10:08 pm

It’s a race to the bottom!

February 11, 2021 10:18 am

The easiest way for companies to protect their oil refineries from the promised wave of punitive environmental regulations and carbon levies is to move the refining operations and if necessary company headquarters overseas

Followed shortly by the usual suspects whining about evil capitalists shipping OUR jobs overseas.

February 11, 2021 10:19 am

Once again Down Under becomes the crash test dummy for environmentalist and AGW diktats. So where will the Marxists turn to for providing the money to fuel their ideology after they’ve successfully destroyed Capitalism? The Iron Lady was right …. “until you run out of other people’s money”.

Reply to  markl
February 11, 2021 10:35 am

Frank Zappa’s “Cocaine Decisions” came to mind when I read this.

Reply to  markl
February 11, 2021 12:21 pm

The deficit spending will be paid for with QE until monetary velocity picks up and we get hyperinflation followed by currency collapses. At that point TPTB will probably usher in digital-only currencies to help combat “tax evasion” and “profiteering”.

James Beaver
Reply to  markl
February 11, 2021 3:49 pm

The Leftist plan on manufacturing ‘dollars’ via collaboration of the U.S. Federal Reserve central bank with the U.S. Treasury. Many trillions of fresh new currency.
What could possibly go wrong?

(Zimbabwe, Weimar Republic hyperinflation anyone?)

February 11, 2021 10:35 am

Don’t worry about all those jobs, they’ll be replaced with many more high paying green jobs. Stop whining, they’re working on it as hard as they can.

Mike Lowe
Reply to  Rick
February 11, 2021 10:42 am

Rick – you forgot the “sarc” tag!

Reply to  Mike Lowe
February 11, 2021 3:20 pm

don’t need a sarc tag any longer

Mariano Marini
February 11, 2021 10:38 am

And the plastic industries will be converted in paper or wood makers?

Bill Rocks
February 11, 2021 10:41 am

Step 1. Destroy or cripple the industry with government diktats and propaganda causing damage to peoples lives and livelihoods and danger to national security.
Step 2. In the better case, transform the industry to a government-run cesspool and lie about what happened, assuming the social order survives the national security challenge.

Viva Venezuela.

Reply to  Bill Rocks
February 11, 2021 1:30 pm

What were you expecting from
Gov. diktators. The beating will stop when the climate is cured.

Rud Istvan
February 11, 2021 10:42 am

I did a bit of quick research, and disagree that this closure is due to AUS climate policies. And subsidies are probably not the underlying issue.

Altoona is both the oldest (72 years) and smallest refinery in Aus according to Wiki.The average age of US refineries is about 40 years, and they are all larger, according to EIA. Altoona is structurally disadvantaged even if now fully amortized, as the following paragraph explains.

Refineries are a classic example of ‘spherical’ scale economies. Their capital cost is a rough function of surface ‘r^2’ while their capacity is a rough function of volume ‘r^3’. Bigger is also inherently more thermally efficient, for the same reasons: Heat is in the volume, heat loss is thru the surface. Bigger is always cheaper. And according to Argonne national labs, ‘newer’ refineries are also more efficient at equivalent size thanks to improved technology, although this also depends on the relative timing of upgrades, which all US refineries do from time to time.

In the US late last year, Marathon announced it was permanently closing its two oldest and smallest refineries, one in California and one in New Mexico, with a direct job loss of 800. Based on jobs, one or both of those are larger than Altoona.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 11, 2021 11:03 am

The capacity of Altona refinery in Melborne, Oz is reported to be 90,000 barrels per day, about half of typical Canadian refineries and 1/4 that of the big Irving refinery in St John, NB.

Small old refineries tend to close because of poor economics – that’s been happening for many decades.

The bigger question is why are new larger refineries not being built in Oz, and the answer is probably the anti-fossil fuel policies of imbecilic green Ozzie politicians.

Here is a subtle hint I wrote years ago about energy reality:

Fossil fuels comprise fully 85% of global primary energy, unchanged in decades, and unlikely to change in future decades.

The remaining 15% of global primary energy is almost all hydro and nuclear.

Eliminate fossil fuels tomorrow and almost everyone in the developed world would be dead in about a month from starvation and exposure.

February 11, 2021 11:31 am

Every time I read something like that I seriously think about becoming a prepper.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  commieBob
February 11, 2021 12:58 pm

They do have a cool theme song which goes:

“I’m a prepper, you’re a prepper
He’s a prepper, she’s a prepper
Wouldn’t you like to be a prepper too?”

Reply to  commieBob
February 11, 2021 10:12 pm

Preppers were called survivalists in the 1970s.

February 11, 2021 1:01 pm

Altona Refinery was expanded around 1970 after the discovery of the Gippsland offshore oil and gas fields, and it is connected by pipeline, as is the Shell Refinery (now Viva) at nearby Geelong. At its peak Gippsland produced over 450,000 bbl/day, supplying 50% of Australia’s requirements, but it has now declined to about 25,000 bbl/day, forcing Altona Refinery to increasingly depend on imported crudes like Tapis from Malaysia. Victoria is still dependent on Gippsland for natural gas, ethane and LPG supplies.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
February 11, 2021 5:01 pm

The Gippsland gas/oil comes from Bass St, which isnt ‘part of the state’.
Its like the US where the Federal government runs the offshore side of exploration drilling.
Yes they are misguided with the fracking ban but it doesnt stop offshore exploration

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Eric Worrall
February 11, 2021 12:35 pm

Eric, I think Allen McCrae answered your question. I would have added that observation, but thought would keep my comment strictly to Altoona.

I certainly agree with your point about sufficient crude but insufficient refining capacity for AUS. However, it may be that a new scale refinery for Aus isn’t economic because of amortization of older large refineries elsewhere. For example, the last ‘new’ US greenfield refinery was completed in 1977. Amazing but true, just double checked. Since then, its been all upgrades to existing refineries.

On the outer Barcoo
Reply to  Eric Worrall
February 11, 2021 2:17 pm

Think about the permitting extravaganza and red-tape bonanza that comes with attempting to build a refinery.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
February 12, 2021 4:16 am

media bite I heard said theyd use it for storing imported fuel
for how long unsaid
they shut SA pt Stanvac down left it for decade+ then bitched it was toxic soils spent megabucks then opened it for housing
tidy profit to developers etc
suspect someones got some longrange land grab ideas for Vic too

Patrick MJD
Reply to  ozspeaksup
February 13, 2021 12:58 am

I hear there is only 14 days reserve fuel for domestic use. Glad I don’t need it!

Leo Smith
February 11, 2021 10:48 am

With Greens on your side, who needs enemies?

Reply to  Leo Smith
February 11, 2021 12:15 pm

Will the internment camps be green?

Reply to  ResourceGuy
February 11, 2021 1:06 pm

Soylent Green

February 11, 2021 10:48 am

Is it time for Atlas to shrug?

Solar Mutant Ninjaneer
Reply to  Bsl
February 11, 2021 11:05 am


Reply to  Bsl
February 11, 2021 12:24 pm

Atlas will shrug when he has nothing left to lose. We’re a long way from that point.

Kevin kilty
Reply to  Eric Worrall
February 11, 2021 1:13 pm

Forget semiconductors, the production process is way too advanced. 

Well, simple semiconductors, like diodes, rectifiers, AM detectors and so forth you can make from iron nails on a stove top, or from copper oxidized in a steam atmosphere, but we are talking pretty limited applications here — no computing.

Reply to  Kevin kilty
February 12, 2021 4:19 am

reckon theres a lifetime or three we can recycle re pcs n bits
whats worst is we may well LOSE the skilled workers knowledge to be able to rebuild, if/when when the nutters meet their fate

Reply to  ozspeaksup
February 12, 2021 8:46 am

I think we’re already well on the way there. The “must go to college” movement that tends to look down on “uneducated” labor like the trades has resulted in a lack of skilled workers in the very fields required to keep the infrastructure going. There’s some people working to change that (like Mike Rowe) but will they be successful enough?

Reply to  TonyG
February 12, 2021 11:19 am

Hmm – my comment was approved? That comment required approval?

Looking at the comment it would appear that WUWT’s filters have a “Scunthorpe problem” where they are catching “bad” words contained within other words, such as the word in my comment that comes between “lack of” and “workers”

I wonder if “Scunthorpe” will trigger this one…

Patrick MJD
Reply to  ozspeaksup
February 13, 2021 12:50 am

Already gone.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
February 12, 2021 2:21 pm

They don’t have to go completely off grid in order to have an impact.

CD in Wisconsin
February 11, 2021 11:30 am

“…The easiest way for companies to protect their oil refineries from the promised wave of punitive environmental regulations and carbon levies is to move the refining operations and if necessary company headquarters overseas, out of reach of US federal regulators, and then starve the USA of gasoline until the profit from rising prices balances out any Biden imposed taxes and costs…”

Or these companies could start of protest movement by temporarily interrupting their production and services to demonstrate to everybody what the consequences are of the anti-fossil fuel people and their demands that governments are pandering to. When the impacts on the lives of people and the economy start becoming clear from the supply interruption, the reaction would be interesting to watch.

The fossil fuel companies would need to make it clear to the public why they are doing this and what needs to change in the Biden Administration. They need to make it clear to the public that the only technologically feasible alternative to fossil fuels on a large scale is nuclear, but I do not see any large scale nuclear plant building projects in the works.

I realize this will probably not happen because of the obligations to shareholders and customers which fossil fuel companies have to respect and honor. The companies will probably be seen as the bad guys instead of Biden and govt regulators.

If the fossil fuel companies have their eyes on foreign countries, maybe Mexico would be a possibility.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
February 11, 2021 12:58 pm

I hate to say this but I hope you are kidding.

This is *EXACTLY* what Hugo Chavez accused the oil companies of doing before he nationalized them and ruined them.

Do you believe the Socialists Democrats like Biden, Harris, Sanders, Pelosi, Schumer, and all the others wouldn’t do the exact same thing in America?

CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  Tim Gorman
February 11, 2021 6:16 pm

Didn’t know that Chavez had done that Tim.

Now that I’ve given it more thought, it undoubtedly would be a very stupid thing for the fossil fuel companies to interrupt supplies as a form of protest. That probably would be all the Democrats would need to pound nails in the coffins of the fossil fuel companies on the way to ruining them.

I still say the key to this whole thing is to challenge the scientific credibility of the CAGW alarmist narrative with the available studies and data. I am not hold my breath waiting for somebody in a position of influence to do that.

Dave Fair
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
February 11, 2021 2:42 pm

Companies wind up doing what their host countries tell them.

February 11, 2021 11:30 am

Its not only the loss of the various fuels that are manufactured from crude oil, to meet the demands of the Australian economy, its also the loss of the oil derivatives manufactured from oil that are used to make more than 6,000 products that are the basis of economies and lifestyles. Placing dependency on foreign supplies to meet these demands, may be a national security risk for Australia.

Reply to  Ronald Stein
February 12, 2021 4:21 am

were already AT risk
fuel supply petrol for 29 days diesel maybe a tad longer
anything happens to sea lanes etc we’re stuffed

Last edited 1 year ago by ozspeaksup
John the Econ
February 11, 2021 11:31 am

So after absorbing our former steel, plastics, electronics and other manufacturing, most of the word’s refining will also take place in Asia as well. Guess the Aussies need to learn to code too.

February 11, 2021 11:58 am

Look at this story about Shell which came out this morning. …

excerpt- “Central to its path forward are the closures of seven refineries and plans to cut down production of gasoline and diesel fuel by 55 percent in the next 10 years …”

Rud Istvan
Reply to  goldminor
February 11, 2021 2:13 pm

So, short Shell via long duration out of the put options. If they are as stupid as that announcement, a lower stock price will soon follow.

Dave Fair
Reply to  goldminor
February 11, 2021 2:48 pm

It appears Shell’s medium-term plan is to mine subsidies. They seem to be betting on government mandates, regulations and subsidies to grow.

Reply to  Dave Fair
February 12, 2021 9:04 am

Isn’t the Biden administration saying they’re going to cut oil subsidies? I heard something about that somewhere but I don’t recall the details.

February 11, 2021 12:11 pm

Realistically, the U.S. will have to write off Australia and NZ in the military phase of China’s expansions. A similar assessment for England came from Amb. Joe Kennedy leading up to the air and sea war of WW2 around the English Channel.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
February 11, 2021 3:09 pm

What makes you think that the former US’s military considers China a threat rather than a partner? The ruling elite have agreed to hand over their respective countries to China in return for wealth and power. The purge has been going on in the former US’s military for some time so that the brass in the Pentagram are sympathetic to China’s expansion.

February 11, 2021 12:14 pm

First, they came for nuclear… reprocessing. Then, they came for hydrocarbons, and to spread the Green blight. Bad, perhaps wicked solutions. Throw another baby on the barbie, cannibalize her profitable parts, sequester her carbon pollutants. it’s over.

Last edited 1 year ago by n.n
Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  n.n
February 12, 2021 1:35 am

I have seen the enemy and the enemy is Green.

February 11, 2021 12:20 pm

Mexico is adding a new refinery in AMLO’s home state even though two other refineries are running at less than 50 percent capacity. Maybe Mexico can export refined products to Australia….before their crude oil from under-invested fields runs out.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
February 11, 2021 5:11 pm

Australia will get its refined products from Asia, like they do now.
Its the tax shifting which is part of the outsourcing process, a subsidiary in Singapore will pay the local refinery for a tankerload and then the Australian subsidiary will pay the other business a premium, all that profit will be booked in Singapore under its low tax provisions.

Singapore has capacity of 1.5 mill barrels PER DAY, yet the tiny island treats cars like endangered primates, its expensive and difficult to get one.
Where do you think the 1.5 mill gpd will be going, but once Australia has no more refineries , well thats the end of the sweetheart deals they made earlier

Reply to  Duker
February 11, 2021 10:19 pm

That’s all very very well! What happens when the sea lanes are closed due to conflict?

February 11, 2021 12:22 pm

The super refineries of China can sell refined products to Australia….maybe with good behavior.

Joe B
Reply to  ResourceGuy
February 11, 2021 1:04 pm

Your last 4 words are, tragically, a very large piece of this ongoing global ‘puzzle’.
It is clearly NOT just happenstance.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
February 11, 2021 2:04 pm

With a promise to love you long time, but no guarantee happy ending.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Scissor
February 11, 2021 2:57 pm

Experience from Vietnam: Never believe a B-girl.

Joe B
February 11, 2021 12:44 pm

Not to worry, Aussies, Chairman Xi is coming to the rescue with the 3 brand new petchem projects – costing ~$10 billion – which will soon be joined by the massive new $20 billion Shandong petchem complex.
Bonus points will be that Xi will be able to provide your resource-rich country with petrol, manufactured goods, and countless contemporary examples of how a country thrives when its leaders ruthlessly exploits the intellectual, social, and psychological weaknesses of its global competitors.

Do not feel badly.
Your Canadian and American cousins will soon join your legions of listless, unemployed fellow Oz colleagues as we sit around wondering how it all this predictable destruction came to be.

George Tetley
Reply to  Joe B
February 12, 2021 2:39 am

You all miss the conclusion Australia will while sailing on it’s present course,become another province of China after all has not Australia got everything that China lacks ?

Mr. Lee
February 11, 2021 12:49 pm

What matters is the refining capacity. Is the capacity now (even after the close) greater than or less than what it was circa 1980?

Dave Fair
Reply to  Mr. Lee
February 11, 2021 2:58 pm

Who cares?

Reply to  Mr. Lee
February 11, 2021 6:04 pm

Mr. Lee, the hidden premise of your question is that demand has no relevance, only capacity. That’s not how modern economies work. Demand drives supply. There are more Aussies today who have incentive to purchase fossil fuel derived products than there have ever been before.

But I don’t know what your question has to do with the original article. Australia is slowly strangling its last oil refineries and in so doing making itself increasingly vulnerable to predatory countries in the world market. The article never talked about Australia’s refinery capacity over time.

February 11, 2021 12:58 pm

Some industries are very vulnerable to fuel shortages in Australia. Just 1 delivery on a day failed quality checks & caused disruptions & workarounds for an airport. We’re at the mercy of others.

Many uses of petroleum products have synergies to use various fractions of the raw crude & gases produced during refining. Ranges from petrol to engine oil, tars (bitumen), plastics, fertilisers to industrial food processing (burning gas to cook). There are efficiencies for having a working refinery near sea ports, airport & industrial users.

Last edited 1 year ago by tygrus
February 11, 2021 1:06 pm

Tell all the bogan leaders in Canberra to go walkabout. Paint themselves, and go out with a stick to survive. I’m not at all knocking the aboriginals. They know how to survive with little, but the smug nonsense from governing elites is dinky di disgusting.

Reply to  Hoser
February 12, 2021 4:26 am

sorry to explode your bubble but the aboriginals are 98% dependant on good ol whitey
we fall over- their handouts etc stop as well

February 11, 2021 1:12 pm

It’s no problem destroying fossil fuel infrastructure.

Green energy infrastructure to replace it will rise out of the sea.

Biden’s new dept. of energy pick Nongqawuse.

February 11, 2021 1:23 pm

Nothing like getting hung with your own rope. Look Ma no brains.

February 11, 2021 2:28 pm

And all this because of the ANTI-SCIENCE, ANTI-LIFE, ANTI-CO2 regressive agenda based on a tiny warming since the coldest period in 10,000 years

Even more evidence of a MUCH WARMER period before the LIA

February 11, 2021 3:14 pm

“He said the decision – which came despite subsidies offered by the Morrison government”.
FAKE Scott Morrison OFFER to cover the real agenda.
Feigned concern . . .
Liberal Party under Morrison receives large donations from Chevron/Sing Pet (refining JV) who will now make up the shortfall by exporting refined products to Australia.
This is a Scott Morrison stitch-up of Melbourne manufacturing!!
This is corruption at it’s most serious and damaging.
Asia eating our local industry with the help of our traitorous Federal and State politicians on both sides.

Feck Weed
February 11, 2021 5:32 pm

No problem. China will open a new refinery to meet your demand as long as you don’t get out of line.

February 11, 2021 7:13 pm
Reply to  observa
February 11, 2021 8:15 pm

Petrol fires are common in cars too

Reply to  Duker
February 11, 2021 8:29 pm

Yes but consumers and their lawyers don’t like spontaneously-
Recently Recalled Hyundai Kona Electric Catches Fire In South Korea (

LG are big with EV battery supply-
CATL & LG Chem Are World’s Biggest EV Battery Producers (
and the big push for EVs generally-
Tech giants make inroads into carmakers’ territory (
but as they point out-
“You don’t get to the top 3, or the top 5, without making some big news along the way.”
So they may be staring at the Takata abyss whilst making many potential EV buyers head off looking for proven Toyota hybrid technology instead if they can’t stump up for a Tesla.

Reply to  Duker
February 12, 2021 2:27 pm

On a per capita basis, the numbers are no where close.
Beyond that, you usually have to hit a car, very hard, to get it to start burning.
Electrics on the other hand have a habit of self igniting whenever they feel like it.

Ed Zuiderwijk
February 12, 2021 1:24 am

Can australians carry arms?

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
February 13, 2021 12:48 am

Not since the mid-1990’s. Australians gave away that right to Howard.

Danley Wolfe
February 12, 2021 12:59 pm

Exxon Altona refinery is not a major refinery by world standards, it’s capacity is only 75 BPD. Granted Australia’s refineries are not large in general The largest refineries in Australia are small by world standards, largest being 138,000 bpd. Total refining capacity is 766700 bpd including Altona. So this is not very significant.

Reply to  Danley Wolfe
February 12, 2021 5:09 pm

Australia in general is not a major country by world standards; its population is only 27 million. California and Texas each have more people than Australia.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  CapitalistRoader
February 13, 2021 12:49 am

And yet many Australians think our CO2 emissions are the biggest per capita.

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