Story: Oil and gas

Motunui synthetic petrol plant

Motunui synthetic petrol plant

The Motunui synthetic petrol plant was the first (and only) one of its type in the world. It converted gas to methanol (methyl alcohol), then to synthetic petrol. At the time of its conception, in the early 1980s, world oil prices were very high. Unfortunately, by the time it began producing in 1987, the prices were dropping, making it redundant. Instead of full production of synthetic petrol, the plant switched to making more methanol. It produced its last synthetic petrol in 1997.

About this item

New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals, Ministry for Economic Development

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How to cite this page:

Roger Gregg and Carl Walrond, 'Oil and gas - The Māui gas field', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/8935/motunui-synthetic-petrol-plant (accessed 26 June 2017)

Story by Roger Gregg and Carl Walrond, published 12 Jun 2006