New Zealand Oil Production And Consumption

Updated 21 May 2011

The conclusions and forecast are just my amateur guesswork and judgment. Don't be at all surprised if I'm wrong.

Consumption data source

The consumption data to 2009 is from the BP Statistical Review 2010.

Updated 21 May 2011: I have projected a forecast of 3.5% consumption decline - this is only my amateur guess (based on this article on I'm likely to fiddle with the decline rate as more info comes in (kinda like an economist).

I changed this from 5% late Nov 2008 after reading the IEA's Energy Outlook 2008 which estimates "that the average observed decline rate worldwide is 6.7%" [Chapter 10, p 243]. (Prior to that I had it at 3%.)

The decline rate refers to the oil production decline rate. Currently that decline is being matched or exceeded by new wells. The net result of that is; global oil production is on a "bumpy plateau". One day installing new wells will fail to meet or exceed the 6.7% decline rate. My guess is 2010 +/- 5 years.

In 2008 we experienced a dramatic financial crisis which caused "demand destruction" - ie people spending less which feeds in to consumption decline.

In early 2011 the global price of oil is running up again. At some point I presume we'll see more demand destruction.

Production data sources

The production data up to 2008 comes from Crown Minerals. The 2009 number comes from

Of interest

Most oil currently produced in New Zealand is sold overseas because it is very high quality - and thus gains a premium price.

We import a lower quality (and therefore cheaper) oil and process it at the Marsden Point oil refinery into petrol and diesel.


Denis Tegg is keeping a blog on the NZ oil situation

IMF Warns of Oil Scarcity And End of Growth 16 April 2011

NZ oil and gas in steep decline 19 Jan 2011

Oil production is rising sharply in New Zealand 4 Jan 2010

Increased domestic oil production is part of the reason New Zealand has already secured this year's emergency reserve 2 January 2010 [Note: the "emergency reserve" is not held in New Zealand, it's not even held overseas - it's a right to "priority buyer" status.]

NZ Oil Output Rises to 15-Month High 22 Dec 2009

A 31.6 percent fall in the petroleum and petroleum products index... Stats NZ, 11 March 2009

Page last modified on 21 May 2011 at 04:37 PM