Oil statistics

This page contains data tables for oil production, transformation and consumption. It also includes some brief outlines of distribution and storage of oil products in New Zealand.

Data tables for oil

This spreadsheet contains the latest data on oil production, imports, exports, stock change, refining, and consumption in New Zealand. The tables are updated quarterly.

Revisions to previously published data: The Ministry has improved the methodology for producing oil production and consumption statistics, as well as updating some historical data. This has resulted in changes to previously-published data. These are detailed further in the Oil data tables.

Data tables for oil [XLSX, 1.5 MB]

Monthly oil supply statistics

The Ministry releases a monthly data series containing supply-side data (excluding consumption), which can be found below. Consumption data is contained in the quarterly data series above. The data will be updated on the second Thursday of each month.

Monthly data tables for oil [XLSX, 1.7 MB]

Oil reserve statistics

Oil, gas and LPG reserves statistics are available in the data tables on the Energy in New Zealand page.

Energy in New Zealand

Oil overview

Oil is New Zealand’s largest source of energy and therefore has a strong influence on our economy. Deregulation of the oil industry in 1988 removed price controls, government involvement in the refinery, licensing of wholesalers and retailers, and restrictions on imports of refined products. New Zealand exports local crude and imports refined petroleum products.

Domestic oil production

Oil is extracted from several fields in the Taranaki region and exported. Nowadays, the Maari, Pohokura and Maui fields make up over half of domestic oil production. Maui, discovered in 1969 and beginning production in 1979, formerly provided the majority of domestic oil production, but has since declined in significance.

Detailed information on current and historical petroleum permits can be found on the New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals website. This site also contains industry overviews, free technical data, maps and latest news from the industry.

New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals website(external link)

Importing oil

New Zealand is a net importer of oil. In April 2022, Channel Infrastructure began operating as a fuel import terminal at Marsden Point in Northland. Most oil is imported from refineries in Singapore, South Korea and Japan. Channel Infrastructure focuses on supplying the Auckland and Northland fuel markets, handling between 3 and 3.5 billion litres of transport fuels annually, which is about 40% of New Zealand’s fuel demand. The rest of our transport fuels, except for a small amount of biofuels, are imported through other terminals across the country.

Prior to this, Refining NZ ran New Zealand’s only oil refinery at the Marsden Point site between 1964 and 2022. Its feedstock was predominantly imported crude oil from the Middle East and also some parts of Asia. Refining NZ closed in 2022 due to falling refining margins and converted to an import terminal.

Before the refinery closed, MBIE investigated the likely impacts of the refinery’s conversion and actions to ensure the security of our national fuel supply under an import-only model.

The government regularly commissions reviews of the fuel system to ensure we remain aware of any risks and can improve the security of our national engine fuel supply, for as long as it remains critical to our economy and wellbeing.

Fuel security in New Zealand

Oil: An Introduction for New Zealanders

This 2008 ‘Oil: An Introduction for New Zealanders’ publication was designed to provide an easy-to-read background briefing for anyone dealing with oil-related policy issues. Although some information is out of date, it remains a useful resource providing an oversight of oil production, management and regulation in New Zealand.

Oil: An Introduction for New Zealanders [PDF, 5.9 MB]

Topics covered include:

  • oil production and refining technology
  • the uncertainties surrounding statistics on world oil reserves and resources
  • the management of New Zealand's own oil resources
  • the structure and regulation of New Zealand's oil industry
  • New Zealand's involvement with international efforts to promote oil security.

Ralph D Samuelson was the Ministry of Economic Development's Chief Advisor – Energy Modelling at the time of writing of this report. He holds a PhD in Engineering-Economic Systems from Stanford University and has over 20 years' experience with energy as a government official and consultant.

Consumption of petroleum products

Diesel and petrol continue to dominate petroleum product consumption in New Zealand. Diesel is the primary fuel used for commercial land transport, therefore its use is strongly linked to economic performance. Petrol consumption tends to be for private use.

New Zealand’s oil consumption statistics are collected primarily via the Delivery of Petroleum Fuel by Industry (DPFI) survey. This is a survey of fuel deliveries to economic sectors (including independent distributors) by the 5 large oil companies operating in New Zealand — BP, Mobil, Z Energy, Gull and Tasman Fuels.

Independent distributors are also surveyed to allocate to economic sectors. Fuel deliveries made by independent distributors between 1990 and 2006 were estimated, as no information was available for these years.

The report Delivering the Diesel – Liquid Fuel Deliveries in New Zealand 1990 – 2008 outlines the methodology employed to perform this calculation.

Delivering the Diesel – Liquid Fuel Deliveries in New Zealand 1990 – 200

Distribution and storage of petroleum products

The 3 largest fuel companies, BP, Mobil and Z Energy, own bulk storage facilities throughout New Zealand. Some of these facilities have co-mingled fuel stocks shared by these companies. 

Gull operates its own independent petroleum storage terminal at Mount Maunganui and delivers its products to its retail outlets by road tanker. Tasman Fuels operates a terminal at Timaru. 

The petroleum delivery infrastructure in New Zealand incorporates:

  • import vessels
  • port storage facilities for bulk shipments
  • a 170km pipeline from the refinery to the Wiri depot near Auckland International Airport, and a Jet Fuel pipeline from the Wiri depot to the airport
  • road tankers
  • independent distributors who both:
    • deliver petroleum products on behalf of the wholesalers
    • purchase their own fuel at wholesale prices to deliver to their own customers.

Creative Commons Licence

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand Licence.

Attribution 3.0 New Zealand Licence(external link) - Creative Commons

Last updated: 11 July 2024