WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United States and Australia have signed a milestone arrangement that lays the groundwork for Australia to lease space in the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to store and access Australian owned oil, strengthening international energy security and resiliency.
The Arrangement will allow Australia to access Australian crude oil that is held in the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) during an emergency, once a decision is made by the Government of Australia to purchase the oil and lease space in the reserve. The Arrangement stems from discussions between President Donald J. Trump and Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Washington last August.
U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette and Australia’s Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor signed the new Arrangement today at DOE Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
“The U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve is a critical asset for energy and national security that America has had at our disposal for decades. There is no more secure or resilient place to store emergency oil reserves than the SPR, and we are glad that Australia is choosing to entrust us with their reserves,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. “This Arrangement with Australia will strengthen the energy reliability of one of our strongest allies, providing them options in case of an emergency, and bolstering their energy security.”
“This landmark Australia-U.S. Arrangement represents our joint commitment to maintaining fuel security and improving Australia’s resilience, as well as strengthening the close bonds between our two great nations,” said Minister Taylor. “The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is the world’s biggest emergency stockpile of oil. The U.S. is a trusted ally who has been essential for global oil security and we are glad to be building on our strong, longstanding relationship, while ensuring Australia is best prepared to act during a global oil disruption.”
Under the Arrangement, Australian Government owned stocks held in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve can be counted towards Australia’s compliance obligations with the International Energy Agency (IEA).
Under International Energy Agency obligations, Australia and other member countries are required to hold oil reserves equal to 90 days of the previous year’s net imports and are permitted to hold these reserves offshore where a bilateral arrangement is in place.
A separate leasing agreement is currently being negotiated between Australia and the U.S. This would detail the storage and delivery terms for any future purchases of oil Australia could make now that the Arrangement is in place.