“Given its economic importance, the government has a stake in the future health of the gas sector. But the challenge to maintain the health of the sector is primarily one for the industry itself and requires the active support and involvement of both upstream and downstream participants,” James told the gathering in the fields of Kapuni to celebrate the successful expansion of NGC’s gas treatment plant.
“You don’t need to look far to see the industry is pro-actively preparing for the post-Maui era.”
James said it was great to see the finalisation of development plans for the Pohokura and Kupe gas fields, smaller gas discoveries and a LNG importation feasibility study completed.
“However, we remain strongly of the view that the primary focus must continue to be on the discovery and development of indigenous resources and the (tax) measures announced by (Energy Minister) Pete Hodgson are especially welcome because they will facilitate this.”
James said the NZ$25 million Kapuni-Kahili project had seen the recommissioning of an LPG train, the addition of a 100-tonne LPG storage vessel, and the construction of the small Kahili processing station and associated pipelines so Kahili operator Austral Pacific Energy could start commercial production from its nearby gas field.
As well, NGC and Origin Energy were discussing a proposal to use Kapuni to process the Kupe wellstream which, if successful, could see over NZ$100 million more spent on further upgrading NGC’s Kapuni site.
Hodgson said he understood “most” of James’ speech and “did not disagree with any of it”.
Hodgson also conceded he did not spend much time in Taranaki, New Zealand’s only energy region - “but I don’t need to, Harry knows it all,” he said referring to Associate Energy Minister and New Plymouth MP, Harry Duynhoven.
Yesterday’s function was a “typical Taranaki affair”, with health and safety regulations precluding a function within the plant’s boundaries, necessitating a marquee being erected amid the smells of cowpats and silage.