COOPER Energy is breathing a sigh of relief after new pressure tests cleared the way for further development of the Sole gas pipeline in Victoria.

In November Cooper reported that the Sole pipeline installation contractor had identified an anomaly in the form of a through wall thickness opening at one location in the pipeline.

Subsequently the pipeline installation contractor removed a section of pipeline which contained the damage from the sea floor and successfully completed a hydrotest of the 65 km pipeline from the Orbost Gas Plant to the Sole wells.

Cooper said the hydrotest was conducted over a 24-hour hold period and has confirmed the capability of the pipeline to retain the required pressure and is an important step in preparing the pipeline for permanent repair.

The contractor is preparing to repair the damaged section of pipe within April 2019, subject to regulatory approvals. The Sole Gas Project remains within budget and on schedule for first commercial gas production in July 2019 as previously advised.