Developing New Zealand’s Oil and Gas Potential

The Taranaki Basin is one of 17 sedimentary basins that surround New Zealand, and there is potential that some of these basins may have oil and gas deposits like those found in Taranaki.

By international standards, New Zealand remains under-explored but there is genuine international interest in New Zealand’s potential.

Up until 2018 the Government allocated petroleum exploration permits to explore New Zealand’s basins in an annual tender process called a Block Offer. Areas were selected for inclusion in the Block Offer based on their prospectivity and commercial interest, and following consultation with iwi and local government.

While the ultimate extent of New Zealand’s petroleum resources remains uncertain, successful exploration and development in these basins would significantly contribute to economic development both nationally and regionally.

Economic analysis shows the discovery of a near off-shore South Island field could mean more than $3 billion of investment, creating 270 new jobs.

A far-shore field could lead to $6.5 billion of investment. A major offshore gas field could mean a massive $19.3 billion of development spending.*

There would be significant increases in royalties and taxes paid to Government, considerable export income, and increased employment and economic activity in regions close to any new field.

In 2018 the Government passed legislation to ensure that Block Offers will now only cover onshore Taranaki which has greatly limited the chances of any developments proceeding in new areas. 

NZ basin map


*Sources: BERL economics: "Regional impacts of a new oil or gas field" 2012

NZIER: "Value of oil and gas exploration: hypothetical scenarios" 2012

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