NZ Maari Oil Field to Last Another Decade

OMV New Zealand, a subsidiary of Austrian oil giant OMV, announced Thursday that the offshore Maari oil field in the Taranaki Basin, New Zealand has produced 20 million barrels of oil since production start in 2009. The company also confirmed that it expects Maari – which is currently the largest producing field in the country – to continue producing for at least another decade.

"Production of 20 million barrels from the Maari field represents a major milestone in the success story of the Maari development. It took more than two decades from the time the field was discovered and well over NZD 1 billion in investments to get to first oil. Today Maari is the largest producing oil field in New Zealand," OMV New Zealand Managing Director Peter Zeilinger said in a statement.

OMV led development of the field since becoming operator of the permit in 2002. Initially, peak rates at the field were 40,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd). Since then, it has declined to its current rate of around 12,000 bopd.

But OMV has further plans in the license area.

"OMV is in the process of finalizing plans to drill additional wells which will target what we believe are untapped oil accumulations in the permit which should help to stabilize the natural production decline," added Zeilinger.

Maari provides a substantial revenue stream to the New Zealand government, and the government made it clear this summer that it wants exploration to expand outside of Taranaki into other regions of the country in an attempt to establish another producing basin.


A former engineer, Jon is an award-winning editor who has covered the technology, engineering and energy sectors since the mid-1990s. Email Jon at


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