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Landmark Maui Contract Ends After 30 Years

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

This week the Maui Mining Companies and the New Zealand Government marked the end of the historic Maui gas contract.

Speaking at the celebrations at Te Papa this evening, the Energy and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee said: "I would like to congratulate the field owners for their successful and long running operation of the Maui field. For 30 years Maui has been a significant and welcome part of this country's energy supply.

"It's also important to note the longevity of the relationship between the Crown and Maui under the Maui gas contract. This 30-year contract was pivotal in that it provided the basis for the investment required to develop the field. That investment helped provide a secure long term energy supply that fuelled everything from power stations, industrial applications, through to gas ovens and home heating," Mr Brownlee said. "I hope Maui will continue to deliver important benefits to New Zealand in the future," Mr Brownlee said.

Rob Jager, Chairman of Shell New Zealand and Maui Development Ltd, said: "This week, 30 years after the signing of the Maui Gas Contract, we can look back and see that Maui has played an influential role in New Zealand's development.

"At the time Maui was the country's first offshore gas field, and one of the largest in the world. As a huge store of untapped energy, it represented a source of incredible potential and opportunity for New Zealand.

"A large gas field in New Zealand today contains around 1,000 petajoules of gas - that's enough to run a power station like Huntly's E3P for about 50 years. So far, Maui has delivered around three and a half times that amount of energy.

"We're proud to have played a part in harnessing this resource that has had such an important role in New Zealand's development," Mr Jager said.

On 20 May 2009, the last petajoule of gas was delivered under the original Maui Gas Contract, marking the end of an era.

Maui gas continues to be sold under an agreement signed in 2004 that provided for additional gas to be sold to third parties as more gas was discovered and proven.

The Maui Mining Companies is made up of Shell (83.75%), OMV New Zealand Ltd (10%), and Todd Energy (6.25%).

Key facts - Maui was New Zealand's first offshore gas field, and one of the largest in the world at the time that it was discovered.

- The Maui field covers 157 square kilometres and lies 3,000 metres below the sea floor.

- The legs supporting Maui A extend through 110 metres before reaching the seabed - and are further driven between 70 and 80 metres into the seabed to anchor the platform in place.

- The Maui A platform was built to withstand waves of 23 metres or more, winds of 163 knots, and currents of up to 3.4 knots. It can also stand earthquakes up to 8.5 on the Richter scale.

- Maui A platform operated for 15 years before its first planned shutdown (lasting five days) to maintain key equipment on the pipelines.

- Maui operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

- While the platform can sleep 71 people, only 40-45 people are usually on board.

- Shift workers work 12 hours on, 12 hours off, two weeks on, two weeks off.

- The platform has a converter to turn salt water into fresh water and can use up to 40 tonnes of water a day.

Maui photos are available to download at

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