The importance of oil and gas to the New Zealand economy

The upstream oil and gas sector contributes over $2.5 billion to New Zealand’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the Government collects approximately $500 million in royalties and tax from the sector annually, and oil exports are worth approximately $1.5 billion per annum.*

The industry generates over 11,000 jobs nationally, and many of these jobs are highly skilled and specialised. Oil and gas workers earn twice the national average salary and create seven times the average value earned per annum, money that is spent in local communities.

Gas is also an essential feedstock for many industrial activities, such as methanol production and urea fertiliser for agriculture, industries that wouldn’t exist without a ready supply of natural gas.

Gas also supports a range of economic activities that require heat, such as furnaces, milk drying, timber processing and steel production.

New Zealand’s oil and gas production is concentrated in Taranaki. The contribution the sector has made to that region has been immense – accounting for 30 percent of Taranaki’s GDP and two percent of regional employment.

Oil and gas is one of the key reasons Taranaki has the second highest regional GDP per person in New Zealand of $68,427, compared to a national average of $58,778.

Oil Gas Fields Updated



Employment, export and GDP figures: Venture Taranaki "The Wealth Beneath Our Feet", (2015)

Royalty figures: Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) "Energy in New Zealand 2018", (2018)

Regional incomes: Statistics New Zealand March 2018 


New Zealand's Energy Mix New Zealand's Energy Mix

New Zealand's Energy Mix

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