Helium plans welltest late this month

TANZANIA: HELIUM One is gearing up to commence an extended well-test programme later this month to assess the availability of fault fracture helium before officially proceeding with drilling.

The test aims to provide a more detailed evaluation of the downhole conditions and includes testing multiple zones, including the fracture basement and faulted Karoo interval.

“We are currently awaiting government approval and anticipate starting official drilling by the end of this month,” stated Helium One CEO, Ms. Lorna Blaisse.

Tanzania’s helium gas reserves are expected to play a crucial role in meeting global demand due to their limited availability.

The primary helium project in Rukwa holds an Unrisked Prospective Recoverable Helium Resource of 138 billion cubic feet (bcf) as of 2020, marking it as the largest known primary helium deposit worldwide.

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Global demand for helium, estimated at around six billion cubic feet (bcf) annually, is projected to increase to 8.5 bcf by 2030.

Ms. Blaisse attributed this high demand to geopolitical constraints limiting major producers from meeting global needs, coupled with insufficient new reserves being discovered.

To date, the major helium producers are primarily from just four countries of US, Qatar, Algeria and Russia, with a limited supply and a high increase in demand impacting the price worldwide.

To date, major helium production is dominated by just four countries: the US, Qatar, Algeria, and Russia.

This limited supply amidst rising demand has a significant impact on global helium prices.

Helium One holds prospecting licenses covering 2,840 square kilometers across three basins in Tanzania: Rukwa, Balangida, and Eyasi.

The company has identified surface helium seeps in these areas, with recent results from the Itumbula West-1 well in Rukwa showing a helium flow rate of 4.7 per cent with no associated hydrocarbon gas.

The current market price for helium stands at approximately 500 US dollars per thousand cubic feet (MScf).

Despite initiatives to uncover Tanzania’s unique gas resources, Helium One faces challenges during exploration, including infrastructure limitations and logistical complexities, such as extended lead times for equipment deployment.

Ms. Blaisse added, “These challenges are impacting our operational timelines.”

Helium One is listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) under the ticker HE1, and on the middle tier of the OTCQB marketplace for trading in the United States.

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