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Natural gas supplies secure for reticulated market

Media release from the Gas Association of New Zealand

15 September 2005

Natural gas supplies secure for reticulated market

Residential and commercial natural gas users can be confident of continuity of supply despite the increasing nervousness about security of supplies of electricity and the burgeoning cost of oil products," said the National Manager of the Gas Association, Stephen Parker.

"The development of multiple gas wells now means that the industry's dependence on the Maui field is reducing rapidly. The industry is already sourcing gas for the reticulated market from Kapuni, the TAWN fields, a number of smaller onshore fields, and are looking forward to seeing Cardiff, Kupe and Pohokura come on stream," he said.

"Supplies for the reticulated market are not likely to be affected by any shortfall in natural gas supplies for electricity generation. This message of continued supplies is reinforced by statements by Ministers and officials, as well as the gas industry itself.

"Further, the amount of natural gas used by residential and business consumers is only 3%, a tiny percentage of annual gas production," Stephen Parker said.

"Architects and building specifiers in the North Island appear to share this confidence in supply as retail gas companies continue to report that around three-quarters of new homes in new subdivisions are being connected to gas for space heating, cooking and hot water," he said.

Increasing sophistication and desirability in new gas appliances is also stimulating interest in gas installation.

The industry is aware that interruption to electricity supplies caused by problems such as transmission issues and reduced lake levels are likely to stimulate interest in connections to existing homes and enterprises as gas pipelines run past many homes that are currently not connected to gas.

"The gas industry is therefore looking to increased activity involving new connections in established areas, as well as continuing its growth in the new house sector." Stephen Parker concluded.

ENDS

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