Praxair has signed a long-term agreement with Castleton Commodities International (CCI) for the refining and purchase of helium.

CCI, a leader in gas processing in the Four Corners region of the US, owns and operates a gas processing facility and helium refinery in Utah. Praxair has been actively developing helium-rich natural gas fields in the region, including helium associated with a recently announced purchase agreement with Nacogdoches Oil & Gas.

With Praxair’s additional feedstock, CCI will restart its idled refinery, which can produce up to 150 million cubic feet per year of liquid helium.

“Praxair and CCI have worked together during the last few years to develop helium in the Four Corners region by leveraging CCI’s existing infrastructure to reduce both capital and operating costs. This relationship strengthens our capabilities to meet our customers’ needs safely, efficiently and reliably,” said Amer Akhras, general manager, Global Helium and Rare Gases at Praxair.

CCI Executive Vice President Brad Burmaster, added, “Praxair’s leadership in helium sourcing, operations, and distribution made it the clear choice to help us restart our helium plant safely and efficiently. This gives other producers in the region with access to our plant increased ability to develop their helium resources. This is a win for CCI, Praxair and the region.”

At the beginning of this month Praxair signed a deal in which Nacogddoches Oil & Gas (NOG) will supply up to 100 million scf per year of helium – with the potential for further expansion.