New Zealand Oil & Gas has secured a new five-year exploration permit for an area covering 3,000 square kilometres off the coast of Taranaki.
The company said its analysis, along with the site's proximity to the Kupe oil field, indicates there is a good chance the field may hold oil or wet gas.
It is hoping to get a seismic vessel which is currently in New Zealand waters to survey the area.
New Zealand Oil & Gas will not release any estimate of the potential of the area until it has more information.
The company will decide whether to drill an exploration well at the end of a two year evaluation.