Cyprus expects a blue flame to brighten up its future

Cyprus expects a blue flame to brighten up its future


By Christos Meliopoulos – Nicosia

The energy authorities in Cyprus hold their breath for a “significant” day in the history and the future of the island country, as Thursday (5 September) will mark the first production test (stem test) of the natural gas in block 12 of its Exclusive Economic Zone.

“The drill stem test will test the pressure and quality of block 12. The results should be ready in the coming weeks,” said Charalambos Ellinas, President of the Cyprus National Hydrocarbons Company.

According to the details of the stem test, the cost will run to approximately $64m. The procedure will be conducted by the partners in Cyprus’s block 12, the American Noble Energy and the Israeli Delek Drilling and Anver.

The test aims to determine the pressure, quality and productive capacity of a geological formation during the drilling of a well. Analysing the results will be a highly technical yet exciting procedure lasting over a few weeks. An early indication, according to the experts involved, will be the flame at the top of the well – blue, hopefully; dark blue, even better.

Mr Ellinas left the possibility of a second confirmatory drilling at a later stage open, as it depends on the results of the stem test. During the test the production rate is expected to reach 60 million cubic feet of gas a day.

The significance of the latest development in Cyprus’s quest for hydrocarbons does not pass unnoticed by the island’s people. “I hope this will be the first day of the country’s future,” said Giorgos Andreou from Strovolos.

Officials in charge of the energy programme hope that positive results will provide a further boost for the industry intended to be built around the gas facilities but also in the shorter term a boost to confidence for the Cypriot people.