North American Helium (NAH) has announced the start-up of its second helium purification facility in Saskatchewan, Canada.

Source: NAH

NAH drilling of an exploration well

The new $32m facility near Battle Creek in the southwest of Saskatchewan – about 15 miles from the US-Canada border – is expected to produce more than 50 million cubic feet per year of purified helium for commercial sale.

The plant is owned and operated by Calgary-based NAH which started up its first helium production facility at its Cypress field in July last year. The Cypress field is producing 10 million cubic feet per year (Mcf/y) of helium.

“We are very excited to start up our second helium plant in Saskatchewan ahead of schedule and anticipate running a significant helium exploration and development program into the future,” NAH President and Chief Operating Officer Marlon McDougall said.

With the NAH facility, there are now nine active helium wells in the province of Saskatchewan and 24 in the drilling process. The Government of Saskatchewan expects the number of helium wells will eventually surpass 100, according to a press release.

“This is an important milestone in the development of a new source of reliable green helium supply, and long-term sustainable helium production industry in Saskatchewan,” NAH Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Nicholas Snyder said. 

“Our company will continue working with our partners and relevant stakeholders to ensure that we can grow our nitrogen-based helium production as a replacement for declining legacy sources of hydrocarbon-linked helium supplies in the lower 48 states.”