Taranaki has been at the heart of New Zealand’s energy industry – past, present and is playing a key role in its future.

Since New Zealand’s first oil discovery in the 1860’s and the first major commercial oil and gas find at Kapuni in 1959, Taranaki has played a pivotal role supporting the energy needs of the nation. The giant gas field, Māui, located offshore Taranaki, although now in its twilight, was one of the largest offshore gas fields in the world at the time. Significant discoveries, all based in Taranaki, and their subsequent development, has led to numerous fields coming on-stream, such as Tui, Maari, Mangahewa, Cheal, Kupe and Pohokura. This has led to the development of energy infrastructure, processing facilities, an extensive supply chain  and range of commercial activities which has benefitted the Taranaki economy and the country.

The energy industry contributes over 7,000 jobs, and underpins the nation’s energy supply and security. Natural gas from Taranaki’s fields accounts for around 20% of New Zealand’s primary energy supply. It provides instant heat, energy and hot water supply for over 245,000 New Zealand households as well as more than 10,000 commercial users such as restaurants, hotels, greenhouses and hospitals. The single biggest user of natural gas is Methanex, also based in Taranaki, who use it as a feedstock to produce methanol for export. Industrially, natural gas is also used to make urea for use on farms.
Taranaki has evolved extensive capabilities to underpin energy exploration, production and maintenance work programmes as well as undertake major energy projects and shutdowns. Taranaki is a key player in energy generation and distribution in New Zealand. The head offices of many energy companies are based in the region along with specialist service and supply companies, including freight, logistics, fabrication, technical, professional services and consultancies as well as environmental and health and safety expertise. The region is renown for its world class engineering design and project management skills, which tackles on and off shore fabrication and construction , and the provision of a leading health and safety culture.

Taranaki’s energy expertise is being increasingly used across the spectrum of energy needs including geothermal, hydro, wind and wave/marine energy. Technologies and expertise from the region are being sought internationally and is actively engaged in research and development concerning future energy applications.