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Oil giant Anadarko has applied to extend its exploration permit off the Otago coast to give it more time to decide its next step.
This comes after the company last month confirmed it failed to find commercial quantities of natural gas off the Otago coast after spending up to $100 million drilling a test well.
Records on the New Zealand Petroleum and Mineral website showed this month it lodged an application to extend its permit in the Canterbury Basin, which was due to run out in June.
Anadarko spokesman Alan Seay said it applied for the extension to give it more time to analyse the data and samples taken from the test well.
''The licence was due to expire before we were able to complete all that work properly.
''Basically, the extension will allow us to have a proper look and think what the next steps might be,'' he said.
''Towards the end of the year we will have a lot of clarity on that.''