Chatham Rock Phosphate, which used to be known as exploration minnow Widespread Portfolios based at Takaka near Nelson, has issued a statement saying the Fiji-based Akura company has found evidence of "significant" hydrocarbon reservoirs in the eastern and central parts of the Nadi Basin within exploration lease OEL 3/2009.
It said Akura, in which it holds a 7.2% stake, recently carried out hydrocarbon soil gas (HSG) sampling, with encouraging results.
Geochemical Exploration Services, of Plano, Texas, conducted a HSG sampling program covering about 50 square kilometres with samples analysed for methane, ethane, propane, butane, pentane and hexane.
GES concluded that based on the HSG results "the Nadi area appears to contain significant reservoirs of oil", with the largest area, about 8sq.km covering part of Nadi International Airport, urban, business and farming areas. The Texan company recommended further sampling to confirm the initial results.