Wellington we have a problem

Methanex now has enough gas supply to keep going until 2029. Photo / NZ Herald

I am worried about energy security and the outlook for New Zealand in the near term.

Last week Methanex secured a 10 year supply of natural gas. This is good news on one hand and should be setting off very very large alarm bells on the other hand. Methanex represents 48% of the total annual natural gas consumption which is currently 200 PJ. There is currently around 1900 PJ of reserves left and Methanex has effectively just secured about 880 PJ of this.

Unless we are able to find and develop new reserves in the very near future we now have only have 9 years of reserves left based on current consumption. There will, however, be a growth in consumption as more gas is used for electricity generation as seen by Todd building a gas-fired peaker plant just south of New Plymouth which accelerates this timeline.

Natural gas represents 1/3 of New Zealand’s total energy supply across all fuel types. To replace this with other energy sources withing 9 years is impossible as far as I can determine given the current political ideology that only “green” energy is acceptable.

We are faced with rapid and massive infrastructure development that makes Goff’s rail plans look literally like a toy train set or we need to get drilling now.

I fear that the political establishment have been asleep at the wheel for too long and don’t have a plan, let along a contingency plan. How do these politicians expect to charge their Electric?limos when the lights go out?


by Laz