The NZ Herald on Thursday Oct 27, 2011 reported that our imports of petroleum (read crude oil) climbed 22% to $7.7 billion in the year.
Not an election issue of course. After all the National government, and presumable Labour if they miraculously were elected, thinks it is business as usual. Import oil and one day maybe the price will go down?? What are they really thinking and what do they really know about the global oil situation?
I had some difficulty finding an annual figure for crude oil imports because a search revealed monthly imports and sudden rises like 53% rise in Aug 11 was explained away by saying we have large, irregular shipments of crude oil arriving at Marsden Point and some months the imports are low. However I finally found a figure for the whole year, authoritative and three days old only.
$7.7 billion is more than twice what we spend each year on law and order, it is nearly half the health budget. If the cost of importing oil goes on increasing at the same rate the price would equal the health budget in three years' time.
In fact if it keeps rising by 22% a year, by 2016 the cost of crude oil imports will be $20.81billion which will be approaching what we spend on social security and welfare.
I guess the theory is that if we assume all is going to be business as usual, then we will all benefit from more transport. Somehow all this expensive oil will bring jobs and prosperity.... dreams are free I guess.