Total and Santos have requested a one-month extension from Melbana Energy for the deadline date to decide whether to acquire a 40% interest in WA-488-P by agreeing to jointly fund drilling of the Beehive-1 exploration well.
Last April the six-month option period for Total and Santos to farm into the Melbana-operated Beehive prospect and drill the first exploration well started. This followed approval of 3D seismic data from the Beehive 3D survey.
The project was further de-risked in June this year after Melbana had confirmed key technical characteristics of Beehive-1.
Melbana said Total and Santos had completed technical assessments and needed more time to finalise commercial analysis and for internal approvals to be granted.
The two companies must now notify Melbana of their decision by November 4, with the option now due to expire on December 4.
The extension to the option period is not expected to impact the ability of the partners to drill the Beehive-1 exploration well before the end of next year, should Santos and Total elect to exercise their options.
In terms of the agreement, Melbana, which holds a 20% interest in Beehive-1, would be free-carried should Total and Santos agree to fund the exploration well, which has been targeted for drilling before the end of 2020.
Independent Expert McDaniel & Associates has estimated that Beehive-1 contains a best estimate prospective resource of 388 million barrels of oil equivalent.