Xcite Energy has received an extension for its P.1078 licence in the UK North Sea, which includes the Bentley field.

The extension until 30 June 2017 has been given after completing discussions with the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA), and the UK Secretary of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

This extension will allow Xcite Energy’s current process to secure the financing needed for approval of its Bentley field development plan.

"We are continuing to make progress and we remain focused on delivering a funded first phase field development plan, including repayment of the outstanding bonds."

Xcite Energy CEO Rupert Cole said: "We are continuing to make progress and we remain focused on delivering a funded first phase field development plan, including repayment of the outstanding bonds.

"We still have a lot of work to do, but our objectives of reducing execution risk, working collaboratively and developing a fit-for-purpose, economic and efficient development concept has been critical to generate the support we need for our financing process."

The company has received indicative proposals for development funding, and is currently in detailed discussions to progress these.

If successful, the proposals would enable a fully funded first phase development plan to be submitted by Xcite to the OGA this year.

Xcite has already completed a technical review of the first phase of the offshore oil field and currently proposes to complete a full development plan.

The company also completed a cost review of the development plan that included revised quotes from contractors, as well as suppliers of material services, equipment and drilling programmes.

The company holds a 100% working interest in the Bentley heavy oil field, which has 2P recoverable reserves of 265MMstb.