Kapuni was discovered in 1959 and was New Zealand’s first commercial onshore natural gas field. When the field went into production 10 years later, it launched a new energy era for the country as both consumers and the commercial sector took advantage of a plentiful and affordable supply of natural gas. It also paved the way for the development of the Taranaki region’s energy infrastructure.
The Kapuni reservoir covers an area of about 10km by 2.5km with the main accumulation in gaseous form held in sandstone at depths between 3400 and 3600 metres. The facilities currently consist of 20 wells, across nine locations and a production station.
At the Kapuni Production Station the bulk of the gas produced is separated into gas, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and condensate (light oil). The gas is fed into the national gas network, while the condensate is piped to the Omata Tank Farm, where it is transportated to the Marsden Point refinery in New Zealand or to refineries offshore.
The field is in its twilight and we are looking for ways to extend its life. An example of this was in 2016, when New Zealand’s largest ever onshore 3D Seismic Survey was conducted across South Taranaki, contributing nearly $16million into this country’s economy. The results from the Survey will help inform the future of the field.
Effective from 1 August 2017, all approvals have been obtained and all necessary operational handover activities were completed, to enable Todd Energy to take over operations of the Kapuni gas field in south Taranaki. This finalises the sale of Shell’s share (50%) of the Kapuni onshore gas field to New Zealand company, Todd Energy. Todd Energy is now the 100% owner and operator of the Kapuni field the oldest natural gas field in New Zealand.