The oil and gas industry in Southland develops potential oil and gas fields that can produce petroleum products and natural gas.

Southland has a range of energy options available for development including significant lignite reserves, wind generation opportunities, potential wave and tidal options and potential on-shore and off-shore oil and gas reserves located in the Great South Basin. Renewed interest in the Great South Basin reserves saw exploration parties complete initial seismic activity in February 2008.

In 2014 Shell NZ, and its associated consortium partners, announced they would undertake exploration drilling in the Great South Basin. Any exploration undertaken in the Great South Basin has significant economic benefits for Southland with the potential for direct investment in the region promoting these economic benefits even more.

Southland also contains a range of minerals which could be considered for extraction and other value added opportunities. Included in this is silicon which has gained importance with increasing demand from the electronic and energy sectors. Silica deposits are used for the production of high value silicon wafers which are used across the electronics industry and in the production of photovoltaic glass for solar panels.