Oil & gas jobs

Share the excitement and opportunities of a growing, frontier territory – with a lifestyle you just won’t find anywhere else.

New Zealand is a fast-emerging oil and gas producer with many underexplored basins and significant petroleum potential. Where New Zealand differs from most global oil destinations is that it is based in an environment that is very conducive to lifestyle and offers some of the finest outdoor and recreational opportunities in the world without the challenges of a desert or huge city location. 

That’s what you can look forward to when you bring your skills to New Zealand.

Oil gas jobs in NZ

Taranaki, New Zealand

Developing industry

Oil and gas exploration and production has become increasingly important to New Zealand in recent years. 

Gas is an important input to the local economy and by 2014 crude oil was New Zealand's ninth largest export, earning us over $1.4bn. Falling oil prices hit the industry in 2015 when the value of exports fell to $971m. However as prices begin to recover, companies are planning more development and appraisal of existing oil and gas fields and resuming exploration.

The Government’s long-term plan is to increase the value of New Zealand petroleum exports to $30 billion a year by 2025, so there are plenty of future opportunities in the pipeline.

New Zealand is attracting wide interest as a frontier location with significant petroleum potential. There is industry participation from national and international investors.

There are underexplored basins, the possibility of significant unrealised reserves and readily available, free seismic information. Even a modest find could see national employment in the oil and gas industry almost triple, according to a government research paper.

The EnergyStream website is a great place to start for background information on the industry and employment opportunities across the broader supply chain.

Oil & gas track record | Energy Stream

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Taranaki based

To date, all current and historical petroleum production in New Zealand has come from just one of the country’s 18 recognised basins - the Taranaki Basin on the North Island’s west coast. On and offshore fields there continue to drive the industry overall. However, exploration work is being carried out on and off the South Island’s west and southern coasts.

Our exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and extended continental shelf (ECS) add up to 5.7 million square kilometres: of this, 1.2 million square kilometres are considered thick enough to generate and expel petroleum.

New Zealand's Oil & Gas industry | Energy Stream

All this is putting further pressures on employers who are having to look internationally to bridge the skills gap.

Oil and gas skills needed

New Zealand’s oil and gas industry offers a diverse range of jobs and careers, with global opportunities and competitive pay rates. Jobs within the industry range from entry-level field workers to specialised careers in geosciences and engineering, to corporate positions such as accountancy and marketing.

In late 2015, employers in the sector were reporting opportunities for the following roles: 

  • civil/structural designers and design technicians
  • engineering internships
  • extract transform load (ETL) specialist
  • HSE advisor
  • mobile crane operator
  • network dispatch operator
  • planner/scheduler
  • project engineering manager
  • project professionals
  • safety watch staff
  • senior business analyst
  • systems support technician.

Immigration New Zealand has lists of skill shortages. As of late 2015, there were seven oil and gas industry skill sets listed on them. 

If you are offered a job which appears on a skill shortage list and you have the qualifications and experience to match, getting a work visa will be easier. This is because the Government has identified that employers need to recruit people from overseas to help meet demand for your skills.

But if your job is not on a shortage list, don’t be disheartened. There are other work and resident visa options.

Skill shortage skill checker | Immigration New Zealand

Visa options

There are various types of visas that you may be eligible to apply for. Work visas are for a temporary stay in New Zealand, but some can lead to residence. Resident visas, such as the Skilled Migrant Category, allow you to stay indefinitely and enjoy more of our state-funded public services.

Visas to work in New Zealand

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Page last updated: 26/09/2016

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