IACX Energy has reportedly commenced helium production and sales from a new facility located at the Harley Dome in Utah.
The facility is the first helium-only application to extract the rare gas from federal lands and is IACX’s third helium plant.
News of commenced production at the plant, located approximately 40 miles west of Grand Junction, Colorado, came via an IACX Energy press release issued via PR Newswire.
It comes at a time when helium is firmly in the headlines, with the passing of the draft Bill concerning the Federal Helium Reserve in Amarillo, Texas in recent weeks.
The Harley Dome field was discovered in 1925 and designated ‘Federal Helium Reserve No. 2’ by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1934.
Despite the proven nature of the reserve, it has remained unexploited until now. The field’s unusual gas composition (7% helium with the balance being mostly nitrogen) and its low reservoir pressure proved to be a barrier to prior attempts to develop the field.
IACX’s small-scale, low pressure helium extraction technology has finally allowed for this helium deposit to be produced.
IACX is also understood to be developing other high-helium deposits across the US and is positioned for rapid growth as it continues to combine its helium purification technology with its ability to locate and produce helium-rich feed stocks.
It has been estimated that around 75% of the helium produced today comes from natural gas production in the US, with approximately 4.6 Bn SCF of helium produced in the US each year – of which 40% is sourced from the US BLM helium reservoir in Amarillo.
The newly passed Helium Stewardship Act (HSA) will provide continued stable access to the taxpayer-owned helium supplies while industry starts-up and continues to develop new helium supplies; with this in mind, the start-up of the Harley Dome plant will likely add a further fillip to a tight market.
IACX Energy press release