Eni has completed installation of the 4 1/2 inch slotted liner and is preparing to install the production string to start testing the lower of the two zones of interest.
"Successful installation of the 4½" slotted liner across the primary target allows this zone to be tested," MEO managing director Jürgen Hendrich said.
Heron South-1 had intersected two possible gas bearing zones of about 120 metres and 115 metres separated by about 130 metres of shale and silt.
These will be tested separately before the well is plugged and abandoned 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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