Pohokura gas supply back online – great news for New Zealand

Natural gas from the Pohokura field is once again helping keep the lights on for New Zealand, thanks to outstanding speedy work by field operator OMV.

The field was temporarily closed for important inspection work since 6 March and production was not originally scheduled to begin again until 14 April.

“Natural gas began flowing last night ahead of schedule, thanks to great work by OMV and the extended contracting crew and personnel,” says Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand (PEPANZ) Chief Executive John Carnegie.

Over 200 personnel have worked on-site at the Pohokura Production Station and on the offshore Pohokura pipeline at key periods, including OMV contractors, Fugro and Atlas personnel and the crew of the Normand Baltic. 

PEPANZ thanks all of these workers and the OMV team who have worked incredibly hard in very difficult circumstances while maintaining the highest health and safety standards.

OMV worked closely with the highest levels of Government to manage the COVID-19 risks and complete this world-first project without incident.

“Now more than ever New Zealand needs the reliable and affordable energy provided by natural gas. It enables cooking, heating and hot water for homes and hospitals, and is a crucial electricity source. It will also play a major role in New Zealand’s economic recovery by providing energy to vital export industries like food production.

“Thanks to this work we can be confident of continuous gas supply through the winter.”

The Pohokura field is located 4.5 kilometres offshore the Taranaki coast and provides around 40% of New Zealand’s natural gas supply.