Taranaki Kupe Gas Project Opened

(PR.co.nz) The $1.3 billion Kupe Gas Project in Taranaki was officially opened by the Prime Minister John Key today.

The gas produced from the field will meet approximately 15 per cent of New Zealand’s annual gas demand and approximately 50 per cent of New Zealand’s LPG demand for the next 15 to 20 years.

“The commissioning of the Kupe Gas Project is an important milestone in the development of the New Zealand petroleum sector,” Energy and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee said.

“Not only does Kupe play an important part in New Zealand’s energy infrastructure, it perfectly illustrates the important role the gas and oil industry can and do play in securing a better future for New Zealand.

“Origin estimates that around 375 New Zealand companies supplied or provided services to the Kupe project, and the value of orders placed in New Zealand was $620 million. Over the last three and half years, 4.4 million man-hours were expended on the project by New Zealand suppliers and workers.

“The Taranaki oil and gas industry accounts for almost 90 per cent of the sector’s nationwide workforce. As New Zealand’s frontier basins are explored, and our petroleum potential is reached, I look forward to seeing the same regional development in other parts New Zealand.

“My congratulations go to the joint venture owners, suppliers, contractors and the Taranaki community who have all played a major part in completing a first-rate project. New Zealanders should be proud. This is a world-class facility and New Zealanders have been instrumental in its development,” Mr Brownlee said.


The Kupe Gas Project is a joint venture partnership comprising owner-operator Origin Energy Resources Kupe Limited (50 per cent stake), New Zealand Oil and Gas (15 per cent), Genesis Energy (31 per cent), Mitsui E&P Australia (four per cent).

New Zealand Oil and Gas discovered the Kupe field in 1986 during exploratory drilling 30 kilometres off the South Taranaki coast. Between 1986 and 1990, five exploration wells were drilled, confirming significant hydrocarbon reserves. Low international oil and gas prices at the time meant it wasn’t economic to develop the field.

Under the new joint venture partnership, and with rising energy prices, a decision to invest in the Kupe Gas Project was made in June 2006. Construction began in November 2006 and was completed in early 2010.

It includes an unmanned platform 30 kilometres offshore in 35 metres of water, a single pipeline delivering raw product from the platform to an onshore production facility, where gas, LPG and light crude is separated, and a second utilities pipeline carrying, for example, power and fibre optic communications to (and from) the platform.

Current daily production is approximately 0.07 petajoules gas (which could power at least 300,000 average homes over a year), 300 tonnes of LPG per day and 7,500 barrels of light crude/day. All processed natural gas has been contracted to Genesis Energy for domestic electricity generation at the Huntly Power Station. LPG is primarily supplied to the domestic market. All light crude is exported to refineries in Australia and the South Pacific.

The joint venture estimates royalty payments to the Crown will be around $306 million over the life of the project.

Media Release 18 March 2010 from Hon Gerry Brownlee, Minister of Energy and Resources.
Telephone (04)817 6802
Email g.brownlee@ministers.govt.nz