Taranaki - Like No Other
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Oil & Gas

New Zealand’s energy province, Taranaki home to all of the nation’s oil and natural gas production, and 90 percent of the industry’s nationwide employment, generating $NZ 2.5 billion in GDP for the country.

New Zealand has a long history in the O&G industry that dates back over 150 years. Discoveries can be traced back to 1865, when early settlers noted that the oil washing up on New Plymouth’s central Ngamotu Beach required them to wipe their boots and lift their dresses when they walked along the sand. Oil was literally flowing off the beach. The Alpha well in Taranaki is considered to be the first oil well in the Commonwealth and one of the first in the world.

But it was the discoveries of Kapuni in 1959 and Maui in 1969, and the subsequent arrival of companies such as Shell, that propelled the nation into the modern petroleum era. 

When Maui was discovered it was one of the six largest gas fields in the western world. 

The onshore Kapuni field is the oldest producing gas and condensate field in New Zealand. Production began in 1969, and sparked the development of a reticulated gas network around the North Island, and built skills and other infrastructure that paved the way for future discoveries such as Maui. 

In recent years many further significant gas and oil fields that have come on-stream, including Mangahewa (1998), Pohokura (2006), Tui (2007), Cheal (2008), Maari (2009), Kupe (2010) and Sidewinder (2011).

Natural gas is currently produced from 18 gas fields - 13 onshore and 5 off-shore - with key contributions coming from the off shore Pohokura and Maui fields, as well as Kapuni. The single biggest user of gas in New Zealand is Methanex, which uses natural gas as a feedstock to produce methanol. Natural gas is also used for electricity and energy generation, urea production,  as a transport fuel, and for industrial and residential purposes. 

Two recent offshore oil fields, Tui and Maari, contribute a significant proportion of New Zealand’s oil production, along with the Pohokura field.

Although New Zealand’s oil and gas industry is well established, on a global basis it represents a frontier investment location with many unexplored areas. Proactive marketing of oil and gas opportunities and an attractive fiscal regime has seen ongoing exploration and development by a range of national and international companies. 

Sign up for a free monthly update on New Zealand oil and gas industry activity at Venture Taranaki’s oil and gas portal 

EnergyStream also features more detailed information about New Zealand’s oil and gas industry, spanning who is exploring where, statistics, legislative overview and links to key agencies and companies.

Industry infrastructure and support sectors

New Zealand’s oil and gas industry is extremely active and has a strong track record with established infrastructure spanning production and storage facilities, specialist port facilities and a reticulated network throughout the North Island. 

Behind this industry a strong and smart support sector has grown around Taranaki’s energy industry and has become an integral part of the region's exploration, development and maintenance programmes. 

This expertise spans every stage of oil and gas industry needs, from initial investigation, through exploration and appraisal activities to design, development and de-commissioning. 

Taranaki’s experienced supply chain members understand and have a high commitment to the rigorous health, safety and environmental standards (HSE) prioritised by the oil and gas industry. 

A comprehensive listing of the immense company capability in the New Zealand oil and gas industry and its supply chain is available on the free online industry portal
www.energystream.co.nz. Searching and listing on the site is free. 

The Oil and  Gas Specialist Technologies group is a membership cluster of companies working in the industry. Facilitated by Venture Taranaki, the group is going from strength to strength, now encompassing 22 companies to provide a one-stop shop approach for all upstream (oil and gas exploration and production), downstream (petrochemical, refining, oil and gas wholesaling and retailing) and other energy-related activities with their wide range of specialist services.

They are also closely linked with the Engineering Taranaki Consortium, which represents a major group of Taranaki engineering companies, with a strong Taranaki and New Zealand customer focus.

Taranaki-based support companies also regularly work throughout New Zealand and the world, taking skills, products and expertise honed in Taranaki’s oil and gas industry into new markets and sectors.
Investment Opportunities
Venture Taranaki works in partnership with the private sector to attract further added-value industries linked to the oil, gas and petrochemical industries to Taranaki. Taranaki offers:

  • Future potential and further energy-related development opportunities
  • Political stability
  • A favourable fiscal regime
  • Infrastructure and expertise to support the needs of the sector 

Venture Taranaki provides support to Taranaki's existing oil, gas and petrochemical base, and offers free, confidential assistance to potential investors in this industry.      


Sign up for a free monthly update on 
New Zealand oil and gas industry 
activity at Venture Taranaki’s 
oil and gas portal:

Related Links
Oil and Gas Specialist Technologies
New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals
Engineering Taranaki Consortium
Energy News
New Zealand Resources
PEPANZ - Petroleum Exploration Production Association New Zealand
PSANZ - Petroleum Skills Association New Zealand
See what life is like on an offshore rig (TVNZ)
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