An energy analyst says the Government's second annual oil and gas exploration tender will likely attract more attention than last year's.
Bidding for work permits begins on Friday on almost 190,000 kilometres of New Zealand's offshore territory.
The first round last year resulted in 13 permits being issued for five years.
Research New Zealand head John Kidd says that was an encouraging outcome and the industry is only going to grow.
He says that as big players like Anadarko and Shell extend their footprint in New Zealand, other companies will follow.