A huge ball of fire seen at the Maui Production Station in Taranaki this evening was just an unusually large flare, the plant has confirmed.
Fire services received multiple callouts from the area around Oanui, with witnesses speculating the large fire was due to a lightning strike hitting the plant.
But a worker at the Maui station said due to gas build up and a power system "flick" the plant was being depressurised, with an unusually large flame. But there was no danger and - despite reports - no locals had been evacuated.
Four fire appliances were sent to the area including one to the plant, but there were no concerns, fire communications shift manager David Meikle said.
"There was definitely no emergency, but whatever they were doing was quite spectacular," Meikle said.