GNS Science

GNS Science is New Zealand's leading provider of Earth, geoscience and isotope research and consultancy services

GNS Science is a government-owned research and consultancy organisation that is focussed on delivering high-quality scientific information, independent advice and public awareness of natural processes occurring in the Earth’s crust, and applying that knowledge to ensure maximum benefit and returns for all New Zealanders.

As well as being government-owned, we operate as a limited liability company with an independent Board of Directors. This unique structure allows us to:

  • focus on science that is strategically important for New Zealand
  • engage in the whole spectrum of research, consultancy, and product development
  • undertake work for the public and private sectors
  • operate internationally as well as within New Zealand.

In the petroleum arena, we concentrate on improving our understanding of New Zealand’s sedimentary basins and their petroleum potential. We provide industry, government agencies, and other stakeholders with specialist evaluations ranging from regional assessments of geological history, petroleum systems evolution and prospectivity, to post-drill analysis of well data. In doing this, we draw on a wide variety of technical expertise, many decades of collective experience. and an unmatched 160-year institutional history of earth science research in New Zealand. We also recruit internationally and have about 20 nationalities represented on staff, bringing petroleum-related expertise from all corners of the globe. We routinely re-invest in new scientific equipment and computing technology, ensuring that our capabilities keep pace with international industry standards.

High-level research outcomes:

Our research relates to making optimal use of New Zealand’s endowment of natural resources within our entire onshore and offshore territory. It is especially aimed at improving the chance of successful discovery of new local oil and gas resources. This research applies to New Zealand’s energy sector and addresses the nation’s need for ongoing stable supply of transport fuel and electricity. Having local production of oil is strategically important as a buffer against any future global supply shocks, and as a significant high-value export commodity. Natural gas is a strategically important feedstock for electricity generation, as a flexible buffer against dry-year limitations on hydro-generation and as a cleaner alternative to burning coal. Our petroleum (fossil fuel) research is complemented by companion research in geothermal (renewable) energy resources. We also undertake research on options for deep underground permanent storage of carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) to mitigate the atmospheric emissions and detrimental effects of fossil fuel use.

Research Programmes:

Petroleum Basin Research Peter King. Development of data and interpretations on the structure, stratigraphy, depositional systems, paleo-geography and fluid movement within New Zealand’s sedimentary basins, to underpin and substantiate predictive models of petroleum prospectivity, gas hydrate resource potential and carbon sequestration viability.

Petroleum Source Rocks and Fluids (MBIE) – Richard Sykes. Revealing the genetic relationships and plumbing connections between oil and gas accumulations and their source rock systems in New Zealand basins.

Consultancy Services:

GNS Science offers professional, client-confidential consultancy services to petroleum and energy companies, government agencies, resource planners and users, and non-government organisations.