In Māori mythology Maui fished up the North Island from the sea; here the fisherman plunging into the depths is a giant drill ship, Discoverer II. By the 1960s technological changes had made it possible to prospect for oil in shallow offshore waters. This NFU film documents the months-long process of exploring for oil and gas, and the discovery of the underwater dome off the Taranaki coast that came to be known as the Maui gas field — one of the largest in the world in 1969. The field was subsequently exploited and was mostly depleted by the early 2000s.
There would be no 20th Century as we know it without oil. As we build a more mechanical world, so we use more oil, and we search further afield for new supplies. The supply ship Smit Lloyd and the drilling ship Discoverer II are searching for another possible outpost of the oil empire ... offshore from New Zealand.– From the narration
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