New study shows exciting gas potential for Canterbury

The Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand (PEPANZ) is welcoming a new report showing the exciting potential of developing natural gas in the South Island.

“The report commissioned by New Zealand Oil and Gas says the discovery of a gas field off the coast of the South Island could be an economic game-changer, earning $32 billion in royalties and taxes over the life of the field,” says PEPANZ Chief Executive Cameron Madgwick.

“The Barque prospect is 60 kilometres offshore from Oamaru and no decision has been made to drill a well yet. However, the study shows a commercial market for gas could result in industries like methanol, dairy and fertiliser plants establishing themselves around the Canterbury and Otago regions.

“This would have a transformational economic impact on these regions. Construction alone could create 5700 jobs per year and add $7.1 billion to New Zealand’s GDP.

“This option of bringing gas-to-shore could generate $450 million in annual GDP from operations and $700 million each year in Government royalties and taxes over the life of the field.

“It could also have important environmental benefits given that natural gas has half the emissions of coal. By producing and exporting more natural gas we can help New Zealand, and the world, lower its overall emissions.

“With a new Government focussed strongly on regional development, this is a timely reminder of the major benefits careful development of our natural resources can bring.

“The Taranaki region has benefitted enormously from having a successful and sustainable energy industry over the last 50 years, and this study shows the same exciting potential for Canterbury and Otago.

“It’s also worth remembering there are another four drillable South Island prospects and the economic returns would be expected to be similar or potentially even greater, demonstrating the enormous potential of our industry in New Zealand.”

A full copy of the study is available at