Kapuni

Kapuni Production Station with Mt Taranaki in the background.

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.

Owned:    Shell 50%, Todd Energy 50%
Operator: Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) : Shell 50%, Todd Energy 50%

Māui

Distance photo of the Māui A platform with open ocean and cloudy blue sky.

The Māui field, located 35 kilometres off the Taranaki coast, was discovered in 1969. It was one of the largest offshore gas fields in the world at the time. A landmark Māui Gas Contract, signed by the joint venture parties and the Crown, provided a long-term basis for the sale and purchase of Māui gas for 30 years.

The Māui A platform was installed in 1977, with full production beginning in 1979. Māui B was built in 1992 and is situated 15 kilometres from Māui A, with the two platforms connected via an undersea pipeline through which product is transported. Māui B is designed to be unmanned, being remotely operated from Māui A.

The platforms are connected to the onshore Māui Production Station at Oaonui which processes the natural gas. Condensate (light oil) and LPG are also processed to ensure readiness for the market.

Māui is in its twilight and we are looking for ways to extend its life.

Owned:     Shell 83.75%, OMV NZ 10%, Todd Energy 6.25%
Operator:  Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) : Shell 50%, Todd Energy 50%

Pohokura

Two employees wearing personal protective equipment inspect pipes at the Pohokura Production Station.

Shell’s newest field in New Zealand, Pohokura, came on stream in 2006 as a high-tech facility meeting 40% of the country’s natural gas needs.

Pohokura’s eight wells and production station are run by a single control room operator, supported by a dedicated team of around 50 staff, in central New Plymouth, 20 kilometres away from the field. It was the first facility of its kind in New Zealand to be remotely controlled for enhanced safety.

The field won an environmental award that recognises its significantly smaller footprint than other plants and the many innovations that reduce impacts on the environment.

An innovative technique called horizontal directional drilling allowed the pipeline to be inserted behind a cliff face and taken underground for 1.5 kilometres out to sea, to preserving the culturally and environmentally sensitive local shoreline.

Other environmental features at Pohokura include an extensively planted reed bed which acts as a natural filter, removing organic compounds that could have an impact on the environment.

Extensive riparian planting was also undertaken by a local employment Trust to protect and enhance water quality.

The business is constantly looking at new opportunities for the future development of this field.

Owned:     Shell 48%, OMV NZ 26%, Todd Energy 26%
Operator:  Shell Exploration NZ Limited (SENZL)

Tank Farm

Omata tank farm between Mt Taranaki and the coast.

The Tank Farm consists of multiple sites at Paritutu and Omata where joint venture Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) operates tanks holding condensate and naphtha piped from both Shell operated sites and other fields, from throughout Taranaki.

The product is piped to the Newtown King Tanker Terminal at Port Taranaki to be shipped off to refineries for processing, either within New Zealand or internationally.

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