MEO AUSTRALIA and Eni have extended the notice dates for Eni’s option to take a further 25 per cent stake in the Blackwood portion of the NT/P68 exploration permit to 29 August.

The two companies signed a farm-out agreement in 2011, allowing Eni to earn a 50 per cent operating stake in the permit in exchange for funding seismic and carrying MEO’s drilling expenses for two wells.

Eni wrapped up drilling of the Blackwood 2 well in the Blackwood portion of the permit in January this year, with MEO agreeing at the time to extend the deadline for the drilling of a second well in the Heron portion until May, to allow the results to be considered.

MEO chief executive Jürgen Hendrich said the second extension would allow for better planning.

“These modest extensions provide the requisite time to complete the integration for the technical evaluation of the discovered resources and determine the appropriate next steps.”

Sitting alongside the Heron 2 well, which was drilled in 2008, Eni’s Heron South-1 well was drilled in the second half of 2012, with production tests proving movable gas but with low flow rates, making it not commercially viable.

The deadline for completion of a second well Heron well, should Eni decide to drill it, remains unchanged at 12 February 2016.