Nalcor Energy says it has reached an agreement with an exploration company to carry out oil surveys off the coast of St. John's.

Nalcor Energy says the agreement with Electromagnetic Geoservices ASA will see the vessel Boa Galatea collect 3D electromagnetic survey data in the Flemish Pass Basin, where recent major oil discoveries have been made.

The provincial Crown company says data will be collected over 4,000 square kilometres and compared with data from other oil discoveries in the area, such as Statoil's Bay du Nord prospect.

Richard Wright, Nalcor Energy's manager of exploration, says the work will help chart the largely unexplored offshore of Newfoundland.

Nalcor Energy says it also plans to publish its findings for the oil and gas industry early next year.