Australia has just one research reactor that we know of, so no nuclear catastrophe on coast worries.
What Australia does have is an impressive amount of pipelines: over 27,000 kilometers for natural
gas and nearly 3300 kilometers for petroleum. Australia produces nearly 50 billion cubic meters of
natural gas; consumes 80%; and exports the rest. The petroleum situation is somewhat more
complicated : Australia produces 600,000 barrels per day but consumes nearly double that. That
means 600,000 barrels per day must be imported by sea. However, about 25% of Australia's
consumption is actually to be refined and exported. Strictly speaking then, Australia is consuming
just under a million barrels per day. We'd certainly advocate a national emphasis on solar and
bio-fuel to help improve the already enviable 5% unemployment and to reduce the current trade
imbalance (190 billion US$ in exports but 193 billion US$ in imports - better balance than many). To
an extent, some of Australia's trading partners could weather six to twelve months of no trade were a
tsunami to wreak havoc on eastern Australia. The interruption would be close to lethal for Japan
and very challenging for New Zealand. Of concern for Australia should be 770 billion US$ in external
debt with less than 5% of that in foreign currency and reserves.
In contrast, New Zealand produces and consumes about 5 billion cubic feet of natural gas. New
Zealand produces about 70,000 barrels of oil per day and consumes easily double that. Like
Australia, of the 160,000 barrels consumed per day 25% is exported, so the net import should be
about 50,000 barrels. It is given as 110,000 so either there is an error or stockpiles are being
increased. New Zealand has quite a collection of pipelines: 2000 km for gas; 350 km for condensate;
310 km for oil; 210 for refined products and 180 km for natural gas. As far as we know, the only
"nuclear" energy in New Zealand is a successful racehorse named Auckland Reactor. Solar and
biofuel emphasis would have similar economic effects for New Zealand, albeit at about one sixth the
scale of Australia. Of particular interest would be paying down the external debt, now over 60 billion
US$ with only 11 billion US$ in foreign currency and reserves. We note that their own Australian and
New Zealand dollars are well-regarded so massive amounts of foreign currencies are not mandatory.
Still, a heavy debt load. It would scarcely do to have either country become the Greece of Oceania.