US-based oil company Noble Energy on Thursday began a drill stem test at the A-2 well in its Block 12 concession offshore Cyprus.
A drill stem test (DST) is a simulated production run yielding key data about the well, such as the pressure and flow of the gas and the fuel content.
Using this data, a mathematical model is then applied to extrapolate the quantity of fuel lying within a prospect.
As part of the DST, Noble was also set to ‘flare’ the well. Flaring gives clues as to the content of the natural gas in the seabed.
Citing sources, the Cyprus News Agency reported that by late Thursday afternoon the first flaring attempt had proved unsuccessful due to technical glitches.
The flaring attempt began around 10am but until 3pm the attempt had been abortive, the news agency said.
The report could not be independently verified.
Earlier in the day, energy minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis told the state broadcaster the production test would take approximately a week. Data gathered would then by analyzed at Noble’s labs in Houston.
The US company should be announcing the analysis results by the end of the month.
The Block 12 prospect is estimated to hold anywhere from 5 to 8 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas. Officials have said that 6 tcf is sufficient to make the prospect economically viable for LNG exports.
The production test at the A-2 well is an appraisal drilling to confirm those estimates. Should the results prove inconclusive, a second appraisal well might be necessary.