Oil and gas naturally rise towards the earth’s surface wherever there is a way up. If fault lines, fissures or cracks allow, petroleum emerges on the ground as sticky, oily deposits known as seeps. Early oil exploration in New Zealand focused on drilling in the vicinity of these seeps. However, it did not always follow that there was oil directly below, as the oil and gas might have taken a winding path.
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Photograph by Simon Nathan
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