Out of gas

Simeon Brown and Shane Jones announced:

I wish to make a ministerial statement relating to low gas production. This morning, Minister for Resources Hon Shane Jones released a public statement following the release of updated projections from industry coregulator, the Gas Industry Company. The assessment from the Gas Industry Company is dire. Insufficient gas is available to meet all contracted demand. …

It is important for the House to understand the magnitude of these updated projections. Natural gas production has decreased following the previous Government’s decision in 2018 to ban gas exploration beyond Taranaki. Since 2018, New Zealand has imported record levels of coal from Indonesia. Gas production has fallen by 51 petajoules between the years 2018 and 2023, investment in gas exploration, including to maintain production from existing wells, has collapsed, and existing fields are now in decline. The speed of reductions in production has also exceeded expectations.

So we no longer have enough gas to even meet current contracted demand.

The lights must stay on. Less natural gas will mean more coal being used to firm our electricity grid, as Genesis confirmed this morning. If it is not gas that keeps the lights on, then it must be coal. That is the reality of this situation the country finds itself in, and it is why this coalition Government has made urgent decisions on coordinating gas supplies and will lift the 2018 ban.

Another Labour legacy.

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