An offshore natural gas production test was underway on Wednesday and a flame has been ignited at the rig following the repair of a glitch that temporarily halted the process.
Charles Ellinas, chairman of the Cyprus National Hydrocarbons Company, said that what is known as a drill stem test at the concession operated by US-based Noble Energy, started on Wednesday morning.
“[Noble] has told us everything is underway normally,” Ellinas said.
The test was scheduled to start last week but was put on hold due to mechanical malfunction.
Noble are running the test to measure pressure behaviour and obtain information to establish whether a well has found a commercial hydrocarbon reservoir.
As part of the test, a flame was ignited in a process known as flaring.
Ellinas said this was only a precaution, aimed at disposing the natural gas safely.
Flaring is set to last about a week, and gas samples will be sent to Noble’s labs in the US in Houston for analysis.
Preliminary findings on the hydrocarbon content should be available within three weeks after the content arrives in Houston but other calculations pertaining to the quantity should take longer.
The production test, is part of appraisal drilling in Cyprus’ Block 12 concession, which has a gross mean average of 7.0 trillion cubic feet (200 billion cubic metres) of natural gas with an estimated gross resource range of 5.0 to 8.0 trillion cubic feet.
Officials have said that proved reserves of 6tcf would be necessary for the prospect to be commercially viable.