MEO Australia will carry out a 2D broadband reprocessing and seismic inversion campaign over its wholly-owned WA 488 P licence after securing an extension to its permit.

Australia’s National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator (NOPTA) approved MEO’s request to extend its work program by a year, meaning the Year 2 of its permit would now end on 21 November 2016.

“This additional time will provide an opportunity for MEO to undertake 150 kilometres of 2D broadband reprocessing and seismic inversion over the Beehive prospect,” the company said in an announcement.

The potential drilling of the Beehive 1 exploration well has also been deferred 12 months until 2017, with a 40,000 hectare seismic survey due the year after, and a second exploration well to be drilled in 2020.

MEO is the sole owner of the WA 488 P licence, located in the Petrel sub-basin off Western Australia between the Blacktip gas field and the undeveloped Turtle and Barnett oil discoveries.

MEO chief executive Peter Stickland said the company would seek to farm down up to 80 per cent of its interest in the permit before Beehive was drilled.

“The Beehive prospect is one of the largest hydrocarbon structures in Australia and this work program variation is an important step for MEO to further enhance the characterisation of the feature,” he said.

MEO had earlier announced that the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development would not renew the major project facilitation allowance for its Tassie Shoal liquefied natural gas project in 2016.

The department had decided MEO was unlikely to need help with secondary level State and Federal Government approvals in the short to medium term, the company said.

MEO had already secured environmental approvals under the environment protection and biodiversity conservation act, which would remain current until 2052 in the case of Tassie Shoal methanol project.

Mr Stickland said the value of the Tassie Shoal project was unchanged, with the company continuing its dialogue with local stakeholders.

“At the appropriate time MEO will re-apply for major project facilitation to assist with the necessary secondary level government approvals,” he said.

“MEO remains focused on projects that offer shareholders near-term catalysts, which are complemented by the long-term potential of the Tassie Shoal projects.”