New Zealand Oil & Gas said it was preparing for an extended period of materially lower oil prices.
Brent crude oil has fallen from nearly $US116 per barrel in June last year to just above $US45 dollars earlier this month.
The company said it will be focusing on efficiency, buying opportunities and extending its existing assets.
It said it has a cushion because much of its revenue comes from longer term contracts for gas from the Kupe field.
The company had $115.2 million in cash at the end of December after it spent $11.2 million more than it took in during the three months ended December.
It has received court approval, following a vote by shareholders, to return $63 million to shareholders by cancelling one in every five shares and paying 15 cents per cancelled share in February.
New Zealand Oil & Gas said oil exploration is a long-term activity and forward planning anticipates that oil prices will be volatile over the investment cycle, but the current conditions do demand a response.
That means it will adopt a higher hurdle for investment in exploration and any purchases will need to add value.
It said work is accelerating to extract more value from its existing assets.