New Zealand Oil and Gas has flagged a potentially significant oil find off the coast of Canterbury.
The company said the Barque prospect in the Canterbury Basin contained three prospective formations, which it said had the potential to be the largest hydrocarbon discovery in New Zealand to date.
The energy exploration company said it was still early days, but the Barque prospect appeared promising.
It said the largest of the three formations it had assessed may contain the equivalent of 530 million barrels of oil.
It hopes to drill the site, which is 60 kilometres from shore and between 2500 and 3000 metres below sea level, in 2017.
The company said it was in discussions with potential partners who had significant experience in operating in such environments.
The company also revealed it had assumed control of Australian-based explorer Cue Energy after acquiring a 48 percent holding. It now has three representatives on Cue's five-member board of directors.
The company's quarterly report also showed net operating cash flows of $1.4 million in the June quarter, and $8.6 million for the year.