Shareholders in London-listed Cove Energy have been given more time to decide on the near £1 billion buyout offer from Shell.

Shell’s original offer launched in early May for Cove Energy  – which holds 8% in huge gas reserves in the Rovuma Basin offshore East Africa – valued Cove at £992 million and was extended to 11 July. Today Shell said it is making a further extension to the offer to Cove shareholders until 25 July.

Shell’s bid is competing against one from Thailand’s PTTEP which values Cove Energy higher at £1.22 bn.