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Petrol Production Down, Prices Up - Stats NZ

New Zealand Energy Statistics: December 1999 quarter

Petrol Production Down, Prices Up

Statistics New Zealand figures show that New Zealand production of crude petroleum for the December 1999 quarter was 22.2 per cent lower than in the December 1998 quarter. Reduced flows from the Maui field contributed to the decrease in production. Refined petrol production also fell by a similar amount over the same period.

The household petrol price index rose 6.3 per cent between the September and December 1999 quarters. Compared with the December 1998 quarter, prices have risen 11.9 per cent. Diesel has risen 10 per cent between the September 1999 and December 1999 quarters, and shows a rise of 22.8 per cent compared with the December 1998 quarter. Increasing world oil prices and reduced production have contributed to the increases. The size of the recent rise in domestic petrol prices has been intensified by the decline in prices between December 1997 and June 1998. Prior to this decline prices had been stable for several years. If current prices are compared with this earlier level the increase is much less dramatic. For example, the movement between December 1997 and December 1999 is 2.0 percent, compared with the movement of 11.9 percent between December 1998 and December 1999.

After adjustment to remove seasonal variations, electricity generation rose 1.2 per cent between the September 1999 and December 1999 quarters. Very low water levels in the hydro storage lakes for most of the year contributed to an increase of 23.4 per cent in thermal electricity generation in the December 1999 year. However, record rainfall into the South Island lakes in November has resulted in a recent decrease in wholesale power prices.

Continued demand for gas, used in thermal electricity generation and methanol production, has contributed to a rise of 16.4 per cent in production in the year ended December 1999.

Len Cook
Government Statistician

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