Natural gas consumption rocketed after the early 1970s, when reticulation was set up throughout the North Island. The new fuel was enthusiastically welcomed. In 2007 natural gas consumption was dominated by its use for electricity generation (59%), industrial purposes (20%) and production of methanol and ammonia/urea (20%). These uses were scaled back over the next couple of years, as the massive Maui field was drained of easily obtainable and relatively cheap gas.
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Source: Ministry of Economic Development; New Zealand official yearbook, 1990