Taranaki - A Region Rich in Reserves. Oil and gas seeps were observed on Ngamotu Beach in New Plymouth as early as 1865; however, the oil and gas could not be collected in any great volume.

On a larger scale, natural gas was first discovered in New Zealand at the Kapuni field in 1959. The Kapuni field is located in the shadow of Mount Taranaki, near the Kaponga township, around 65 kilometres south of New Plymouth.

The discovery of the Maui gas field in 1970 was another major boost for the gas industry. It was one of the largest in the world at the time.

In total, there are now 11 fields either producing oil or capable of being developed.

The Maui gas field is New Zealand's largest and Kapuni is the second largest.

The Kapuni reservoir covers an area of about 10 kilometres by 2.5 kilometres with the main stores of gases held in sandstone at depths between 3,400 and 3,600 metres below the Earth's surface.

Kapuni facilities consist of 16 wells located on nine well sites which feed the gas and condensate via pipelines to the Kapuni Production Station.

The Maui natural gas field is the largest gas and oil field in New Zealand, producing nearly three-quarters of the country's hydrocarbons, as well as providing energy for electricity generation.

It is located 35 kilometres off the coast of Taranaki, covers an area of 157 square kilometres and lies 3,000 metres below the sea floor.

GAS FIELDS IN TARANAKI