IT WAS not unusual for a glitch to delay flaring a natural gas well, officials said on Friday, as a production test at an offshore field was underway.
The drill stem test (DST) is a simulated production yielding key data on the well, such as the pressure and flow of the gas and the fuel content.
As part of the DST, US-based Noble Energy, the company granted the concession, was also set to ‘flare’, or light up, the well. Flaring gives clues to the content of the natural gas in the seabed.
Due to a mechanical glitch with the valves, flaring the gas was not possible on Thursday, the scheduled date.
“The latest information is that the company is exploring its options regarding the glitch and whether it can repair it or change the malfunctioning equipment,” Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis told reporters.
The chairman of the state natural gas company said these glitches were nothing unusual.
“It is a complicated procedure; there is a lot of equipment … so sometimes something happens. It is nothing unusual and does not worry us at all,” Charalambos Ellinas said.
Measurements would take a week and preliminary findings could be expected by the end of the month.
The Aphrodite prospect in Block 12 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, the drilling of a second appraisal well might be necessary.