The News Minute | November 1, 2014 | 7:35 pm IST
Al Qaeda has urged Islamic militants to attack oil tankers in maritime hotspots that supply Australia with up to 70 percent of its petrol, a media report said Saturday.
The terror threat to its fuel supply lines has raised concerns over the nation's near-complete reliance on imported fuel, The Melbourne Age reported.
In the first issue of the militant group's English language propaganda magazine Resurgence, it described fuel pipelines and shipping lanes as the "Achilles heel of western economies dependent on oil from the Muslim world".
The magazine included a map of shipping "choke points" it says are ripe for sabotage.
They have also drawn a diagram of the targeted fuel routes between the Persian Gulf, Singapore and Australia.
With the closure of Caltex's Kurnell refinery and Shell's Clyde refinery in Sydney and planned closures by British Petroleum in Brisbane, Australia now imports 91 percent of its petrol and diesel, which is up from 60 percent in 2000, the report said.
One major refinery in Singapore alone is responsible for producing half the fuel Australia consumes.
There were diesel shortages in western Australia recently after a ship was turned back over quality issues, the report said.
The Australian Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics calculates that the country has 12 days of diesel stock but aviation fuel stocks are said to be even lower.