Oil & Gas in New Zealand
Oil and gas has a long history in New Zealand. In fact, the very first well dug in the British Commonwealth was drill at Moturoa, on the New Plymouth foreshore, in 1865.
Over subsequent years, numerous other wells appeared but these were small and sporadic.
The development of new technologies such as acoustic imaging and deep rotary drilling resulted in the discovery of the large onshore Kapuni gas-condensate field in South Taranaki in 1959. This discovery allowed the development of the North Island gas transmission network, bringing gas directly into the homes and businesses located in our urban centres.
In 1969, the massive Maui gas-condensate field was discovered. At the time, it was one of the largest in the world and provided New Zealand with cheap and abundant gas for over 25 years.
There are now over 20 producing oil and gas fields in New Zealand, all of them based in Taranaki.
While production varies in any given year, in the last 10 years New Zealand has generally produced anything from 10 to 20 million plus barrels of oil, between 150 to 200 billion cubic feet of gas, and 1 to 2 million barrels of LPG every year.
Source: Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment: Energy in New Zealand 2018 (MBIE).