Natural gas was first discovered in New Zealand, in the Kapuni field, in 1959. This discovery dramatically changed and revitalised the gas industry and in 1969 a transmission system was commissioned. This was gradually expanded over the following 25 years to provide natural gas to all main centres of population throughout the North Island.
The discovery of the Maui gas field in 1970 brought about further rapid changes and growth in the gas industry as the quantities of natural gas available far outweighed the expected demand for gas from the industrial, commercial and residential sectors.
There are now 11 fields either producing oil or capable of being developed. The Maui gas and condensate field is still New Zealand’s largest and Kapuni the second largest.