After processing to remove impurities, natural gas is transported from the gas fields in high pressure steel transmission pipelines. Sometimes the natural pressure of the gas within the reservoir in the earth's crust is used to push the gas through the transmission pipelines. If this is not possible, the gas must be pumped or compressed.
Transmission pipelines take the gas to major users like power stations and to the outskirts of towns where gas is distributed at lower pressure through a local network of steel and polyethylene pipelines. The local network supplies gas to homes, factories and commercial premises.
Natural gas is produced and processed in Taranaki. There are approximately 2,600 km of high pressure transmission pipelines and 9,000 km of low pressure local distribution pipelines that supply gas to customers throughout the North Island. Natural gas is not supplied to the South Island.
Read more about the production and distribution of gas in our section on the New Zealand gas industry.