TOTAL is carrying out a second extended well test at the Antelope 5 well as it continues an appraisal program over the Elk-Antelope field, located on Petroleum Retention Licence 15 in the Gulf province of Papua New Guinea.

Total’s project partner InterOil Corporation announced that the extended well test would flow the well at about 50 million standard cubic feet per day for about two weeks before being shut-in to record the subsequent pressure build-up.

Starting in late January, the test was expected to take about a month to complete – with pressure gauges also placed in the Antelope 1 well as an observer well.

This test would further support findings of an initial flow test conducted on the well in June 2015, InterOil chief executive Michael Hession said, giving an even better indication of the minimum connected volume at the Antelope discovery.

“In order to improve the certainty of the minimum connected volume, we have added additional pressure gauges and we plan to flow five times more gas than we did in our initial test last year,” he said.

The news came after Total announced its Antelope 6 appraisal well had encountered the top reservoir within expectations at about 2,076 metres true vertical depth subsea (TVDSS).

Preparations are underway to run the 9 5/8 inch liner before drilling ahead into the reservoir section, InterOil said, with the well to reach a total depth of about 2,464 metres.

Total is operator of PRL 15 with a 40.1 per cent stake. InterOil holds 36.5%, Oil Search 22.8% and minor stakeholders hold the remaining 0.5%.

In a statement released alongside its fourth quarter 2015 results, Oil Search managing director Peter Botten said the Antelope 6 well was expected to reach total depth during the first quarter of 2016.

“Completion of the appraisal program, which may include a further appraisal well, Antelope 7, will enable the selection of the final development concept and confirmation of whether the resource can support one or two trains,” he wrote.

“In parallel, a comprehensive work program including environmental and societal studies, surveys, subsurface and engineering studies, as well as work on marketing and project financing options, is being undertaken.”

Log interpretations from the Antelope 4 ST1 well had confirmed that a thick high quality reservoir extended into the southern part of the field, he added.