OMV has asked for more time to decide whether it will progress its exploration of the Great South Basin.
OMV New Zealand, has a joint venture with PTTEP, a Thai company, and Mitsui E and P of Japan, which holds permits for parts of the basin.
The oil explorer has until 10 July to commit to either drilling exploratory wells or acquiring 3D seismic surveys within the next year.
But it has applied to the Ministry of Economic Development for more time to make the decision, asking for the commitment date to be pushed back until 10 September.
OMV says it's committed to ongoing exploration of the basin, and it needs more time to refine the scope of the work for the next phase.
It says any deferral won't affect its completion date of 10 July, 2012.