Story: Oil and gas

First oil refinery (1st of 3)

First oil refinery

New Zealand’s first oil refinery was built in 1912–13 to service the production from the Moturoa oilfield at New Plymouth. At the time, several million litres of crude oil were stored in New Plymouth and needed refining. But production from the Moturoa wells proved spasmodic and did not provide enough oil for the refinery to run, so it was dismantled and sent to Saudi Arabia by Anglo Persian (now known as BP). When production in the Taranaki region increased, another refinery was built in New Plymouth in the early 1930s.

Using this item

Puke Ariki - Taranaki Museum & Library
Reference: LN335

This item must not be copied or reproduced in any print or electronic media without the prior permission of Puke Ariki Museum and Library. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Roger Gregg and Carl Walrond, 'Oil and gas - Early petroleum exploration, 1865–1960', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 25 October 2021)

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