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Taranaki Basin

Basin Summary

The Taranaki Basin is currently the only producing basin in New Zealand.

A majority of fields, including the large Maui and Kapuni fields, contain mainly gas but nearly all fields produce a proportion of oil/condensate. The offshore Tui and Maari discoveries are predominantly oil.

Key facts


A basin of about 330,000 km2 onshore and offshore the west coast of the North Island.


Jurassic Murihiku marine rocks and coal measures may be basement or earliest basin-fill. Early Cretaceous to Paleogene intraplate rift basin, with marine  transgression and on-lap. Large Cretaceous delta beyond the shelf edge. Back-arc subsidence and some compression in Neogene. Basin-fill up to 9,000 m.



Oil, gas and condensate.

Water depths

0 - 1500 m +


The basin remains under-explored compared to many comparable rift complex basins of its size and there remains considerable potential for further discoveries.


Over 400 onshore and offshore exploration and production wells drilled since 1950. No wells beyond the continental shelf.


Commercial oil and gas production since ~ 1900. Giant Maui gas condensate field. Paleogene reservoirs are primarily gas-condensate, although Kapuni F sands are oil. Neogene reservoirs are primarily oil. Recent discoveries.

Producing fields

Offshore: Maui (gas-condensate and oil), Tui Area (oil), Pohokura (gas-condensate), Maari-Manaia (oil), Kupe (gas-condensate).

Onshore: Kapuni (gas-condensate), McKee (oil and gas), Tariki-Ahuroa  (gas-condensate), Waihapa-Ngaere (oil and gas), Ngatoro (oil and gas), Kaimiro (oil and gas), Mangahewa (gas-condensate), Rimu-Kauri (oil and gas), Cheal (oil), Turangi (gas).

Recent discoveries

Tui (2003, oil), Karewa (2003, gas), Turangi (2005, gas), Awakino South (2008, gas), Kowhai (2008, gas).


Many inversion structures, thrusts, extensional structures,  volcanic edifices, submarine fans, diagenetic traps and half-graben fill. Cretaceous reservoirs little explored.

Source rocks

Jurassic, mid- to Late Cretaceous and Paleogene coaly rocks, Early Cretaceous and Paleocene marine shales.

Reservoir rocks

Late Cretaceous to Eocene terrestrial, paralic and nearshore sandstones, Late Cretaceous to Pliocene turbidites, fractured Oligocene limestone, Miocene volcaniclastics, Pliocene shelf sands.

Downstream infrastructure

Maui offshore platforms; Tui and Maari FPSOs; Pohokura, Maari and Kupe unmanned platforms. Eight onshore production stations in Taranaki. North Island gas pipeline network, including pipelines to Gisborne and Hastings. Oil refinery and port at Marsden Point, Whangarei, with connections to the North Island gas pipeline network
and a liquids pipeline to Auckland.

Port facilities

Port of Taranaki


Picton Port

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Last updated 16 October 2012

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