Covid empties tank. File image/Pixabay.
Weakening energy demand on the back of the coronavirus pandemic has made Australia's refinery base more vulnerable to market forces.
The country, which has four plants, could see one close unless the government steps in, according to Reuters.
Pandemic lockdowns cut demand for fuel products including marine fuel which has hurt refining margins.
The root of the problem is the size of Australia's refinery base compared to its regional competitors.
Combined output from the four refineries gives a capacity of 464,000 barrels per day (bpd), compared with Asia's biggest refinery, the 1.24 million bpd Jamnagar plant in India.
The most vulnerable plants would be Exxon's Altona facility in Victoria state and Ampol's Lytton plant in Queensland, the report said.