Helium One this week (22nd March) announced the appointment of Mitchell Drilling Limited as drilling contractor for its maiden three well exploration programme on its Rukwa Project in Tanzania – a move that could see drilling commence this May.

Sharing details of the appointment, Helium One said it has agreed terms with Mitchell Drilling for completion of the three-hole exploration programme. With Mitchell Drilling holding over 50 years of experience, the company is very pleased with its appointment.

As a demonstration of support for the programme, Mitchell Drilling have agreed to upgrade the drill- rig and supply a larger rig at no additional cost. The selected rig offers increased capacity, providing additional drilling power to the exploration campaign.

By moving directly from exploration to appraisal drilling without having to demobilise and remobilise equipment, Helium One hopes to dramatically accelerate the development of the Rukwa Project whilst also reducing associated costs.

“We are delighted to work with Mitchell Drilling as contractor for our maiden exploration drilling campaign. Mitchell Drilling are highly experienced in gas exploration with all the technical knowledge and expertise required to deliver a safe and successful exploration campaign,” said David Minchin, CEO of Helium One.

“Mitchell Drilling have indicated that they are willing to take 50% of the contract value in shares, with a commitment to drill the third hole and optional fourth hole for equity. Not only does this demonstrate Mitchell’s commitment to the project, but also offers Helium One the potential to expand our exploration programme to include additional targets that may be identified from the current infill seismic campaign.”

“Drilling is expected to commence in mid-May, supported by accelerated mobilisation with a drill rig which is already in Tanzania. The rig that Mitchell Drilling are providing is larger than originally contracted and is suitable for drilling of 63⁄4“ appraisal wells. This will allow the Company to move directly from exploration into the appraisal phase, saving considerable time and money in demobilisation and remobilisation costs and allowing Helium One to continue the fast-track development of our globally strategic Rukwa helium project.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Mitchell Drilling may give notice at any time after the results from the first hole are announced to take payment in equity for the drilling of the third hole in the programme.