Petroleum Reserves data released

Publish date: 21 May 2018

Details of New Zealand's petroleum reserves as they stand at the beginning of 2018 have been released today by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment.

The data, compiled from assessments of permit holders’ annual summary reports, shows a five per cent decline in proved plus probable gas reserves estimates over the past year.

Gas reserves, defined as quantities that are commercially recoverable, stood at 1,985 Petajoules at 1 January 2018. It represents around 10.5 years of demand at 2017 demand levels.

The main driver of the decline is a 27.2 per cent decrease in gas reserves at the Pohokura field, while gas reserves at Mangahewa increased by 44.5 per cent.

Josh Adams, national petroleum manager, says: “The data is typically made available as part of MBIE’s yearly Energy in New Zealand publication released each September but a decision was made to bring forward its release to help inform debate around the status of the country’s petroleum reserves.

“Companies review their reserves on an annual basis. Variations from year to year are expected for a range of reasons, including technical and economic factors.”

The Government’s announcement in April to halt the granting of any new offshore oil and gas exploration permits prompted a high level of interest in the status of the reserves.

The data can be found here [XLSX 55KB]

Please note:

  • This year the total gas reserves MBIE reported included the combined gas and LPG figures. This has resulted in a reserves to production ratio of 10.5 years.
  • This approach is different from last year when MBIE reported natural gas and LPG separately but no combined gas and LPG figure.
  • We used this year’s approach because it is consistent with the approach used between 2014-2016, which reported natural gas, LPG and a combined gas (natural gas plus LPG). Prior to 2014, all reported gas reserves estimates were a combination of natural gas and LPG. Continuing to report a combined natural gas and LPG reserve figure allows for a direct comparison with the period when there were concerns about gas supply in 2003 and 2004.
  • Excluding LPG from combined natural gas and LPG reserve estimates would see the reserves to production ratio reduce to 10 years.
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