Gas statistics

On this page you can find data tables for gas production, transformation, and consumption in New Zealand, as well as information about the physical infrastructure and industry governance.

Data tables for gas

This spreadsheet contains the latest data on gas production, transformation and consumption in New Zealand. The tables are updated quarterly.

Data tables for gas [XLSX, 414 KB]

Gas overview

Natural gas is sourced from the Taranaki region of New Zealand, from onshore and offshore wells that also produce oil. Several hundred exploration and production wells have been drilled since 1950. The reticulated network in the North Island provides gas to end-users, from large to small users.

Further information on gas exploration is available on the New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals website(external link).

Production

New Zealand’s oldest field, Kapuni, went into production in 1969 and is still producing today.

Some fields don't produce any net gas. For example, at the Maari field, which lies 80km from the coast, gas is either flared, lost or used on-site. Total production is dominated by the Pohokura and Maui fields.

There are several processing stations in the Taranaki region that process raw gas — including extracting LPG in some cases — before injection into the high-pressure transmission network.

Transmission and distribution

New Zealand's gas transmission network is owned solely by First Gas Limited.

The network includes the First Gas high pressure pipelines and the Maui high pressure pipeline. Both are owned and operated by First Gas Limited.

  • The First Gas transmission pipelines cover 2500km and extend from the New Plymouth area to Whangarei in the north, Taupo centrally, to Gisborne and Napier in the east, and to Wellington in the south.
  • First Gas Limited transmits gas directly from the Oaonui Production Station to Huntly Power Station through the Maui Pipeline. This pipeline began transmitting gas in 1979. All gas from Maui, Pohokura, McKee, Mangahewa, and Kowhai is delivered into the Maui pipeline.

First Gas Limited also operates more than 4800km of gas distribution networks across the North Island.

First Gas website(external link)

Consumption

Gas consumption comes from the following main sectors:

  • electricity generation, including cogeneration
  • the industrial sector — such as dairy
  • as a feedstock (ie, non-energy use) in the petrochemical sector
  • the residential sector
  • the commercial sector, including transport.

CNG (compressed natural gas) is supplied to the automotive market through some North Island service stations. The CNG market has decreased markedly since government subsidies were removed in 1987.

Storage

Ahuroa is a depleted gas field, which is used primarily as a large scale gas storage facility. It's closely linked to the operation of the Stratford and Taranaki Combined Cycle gas-fired power stations, and provides cushion gas for the gas transmission system (around 6PJ).

On 20 December 2017, Gas Services New Zealand (a related entity of FirstGas) agreed to purchase the Ahuroa Gas Storage Facility from Contact Energy.

First Gas open letter on Ahuroa [PDF 352KB](external link)

Contact Energy will retain rights to use the facility under a 15-year contract licence.

National Business Review — Contact to sell Ahuroa Gas Storage to Gas Services NZ for $200m
(external link)

Industry governance

The Government first released a Government Policy Statement on gas governance in 2003. This was revised and updated in October 2004 when amendments were made to the Gas Act 1992 to provide for a co-regulatory model of gas governance.

The amendment set up an industry body, the Gas Industry Company (GIC), which makes recommendations to the minister on improved gas industry arrangements — such as rules and regulations for wholesaling, processing, transmission and retailing. The GIC levies industry participants to fund its operations.

Reserves

Oil, gas and LPG (liquid petroleum gas) reserves statistics are available in the Energy in New Zealand tables.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand Licence(external link).

Last updated: 13 June 2019