Oil and gas explorer Cue Energy is to delist from the New Zealand Stock Exchange after nearly 25 years of trading.

The company, which explores for oil and gas in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand, will leave at the end of this month but its shares will continue to be traded in Australia.

Chief executive Bob Coppin said Cue was "not turning our backs on New Zealand" but as most trading was done in Australia it made sense to delist.

Cue's 1000 local shareholders would be able to continue trading their shares on the Australian bourse. "We're still interested in exploration and production opportunities in New Zealand, it's just that Cue has become more of an Australian company."

Cue was an exclusively New Zealand company until 1995, when it listed on the Australian exchange to become a dual-listed entity.

The NZX says Cue will be removed from the board on May 27 after a two-day trading halt.

Cue shares traded between 5c and 10c for most of last year, before soaring in price in October. This year, they have generally traded in a range between 20c and 30c, closing yesterday down 1c at 26c. As well as the delisting, Cue yesterday gave details of a renounceable pro-rata entitlement offer to shareholders, designed to raise $18.3 million. Money raised in the issue will be used to fund a "reinstatement" of a 15 per cent stake in an oil field off the coast of east Java, Indonesia.

Todd Energy owns just under 10 per cent of Cue and its chief executive, Richard Tweedie, is company chairman. Todd is underwriting 80 per cent of this latest rights issue, with a company associated to another director looking after the other 20 per cent.

In January, Cue paid $6.7 million to take a 5 per cent stake in the Maari oil field. About 80km from the Taranaki coast, Maari, discovered in 1983, is the largest undeveloped offshore oil field in New Zealand.

Maari is 69 per cent-owned by European energy giant OMV, which is also the operator; Todd owns 16 per cent and Australian company Horizon Oil has 10 per cent.

Leaving the queue

* Cue Energy Resources will delist from the NZSX on May 27.

* It began life as a locally listed company in 1981, before listing on the ASX in 1995 as well.

* It is also listed on the Port Moresby Stock Exchange, although few shares trade.

* While 1000 of its 5000 shareholders are based here, most share-trading takes place on the ASX.

* Todd Energy owns 10 per cent of Cue, which mostly explores for oil and gas in Indonesia and PNG.