US-based Chevron and Indian petroleum firm ONGC Videsh have secured new exploration permits for offshore New Zealand.

Chevron won three petroleum exploration permits, 57083, 57085 and 57087, in the offshore Pegasus and East Coast basins.

"ONGC Videsh secured exploration block 14TAR-R1, located in the Taranaki offshore basin."

The blocks are located in a frontier basin with water depths ranging from 800m to 3,000m and cover more than 25,300km².

Chevron New Zealand Exploration will operate the blocks with a 50% working interest, while Statoil will hold the remaining 50% stake.

Chevron Asia Pacific Exploration and Production Company president Melody Meyer said: "This award adds to Chevron’s range of potential long-term options in the Asia-Pacific region.

"Chevron’s approach to this project will be guided by our commitment to maintain the highest environmental and safety standards."

ONGC Videsh, a subsidiary of Indian exploration and production firm Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, secured exploration block 14TAR-R1, located in the Taranaki offshore basin.

The award marks ONGC Videsh’s entry into the New Zealand region, expanding the company’s presence of 17 countries and 36 projects.

ONGC Videsh managing director and CEO Narendra Verma said that ONGC Videsh’s maiden entry into the hydrocarbon province of Taranaki offshore basin in New Zealand shall provide an opportunity to explore interesting hydrocarbon potential in the region and act as a foothold for greater participation in the far-east region.