"Eni is working diligently towards production testing the two zones of interest," MEO managing director Jürgen Hendrich said.
"Preparations to allow production testing are obviously taking a little longer than anticipated. The 7" liner did not reach total depth, hence the intention to run a 4½" slotted liner to allow access to the lower zone."
The 7 inch liner was run to a depth of 4,255 metres and the 4.5 inch slotted liner will cover the remaining 199 metres to the total depth.
Eni plans to separately production test the two possible gas bearing zones of about 120 metres and 115 metres separated by about 130 metres of shale and silt.
Heron South-1 will be plugged and abandoned at the end of testing as planned
Heron South-1 was drilled to determine the extent and productivity of the Elang-Plover reservoir as well as the composition of any gas discovered as the first of two wells that Eni is drilling to earn its 50% stake in NT/P68.
Eni has 60 days after Heron South-1 is completed to elect on drilling a second Heron well that will further delineate the Heron field and provide more confidence about its reserves.
The Greater Heron structure is estimated to hold prospective recoverable raw gas of 5 trillion cubic feet, potentially sufficient to underpin a liquefied natural gas development.
The Italian major also has an option to earn a 50% interest in the Blackwood area by committing to drilling a well by 5 January 2013, having previously completed the requirement to acquire at least 500 square kilometres of 3D seismic.
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