Helium One Global wants Itumbula West-1 to achieve commerciality as soon as possible after recording helium concentrations of 4.7% and surface flows at the well in Tanzania.
In a market update to the London Stock Exchange, the company successfully completed all wireline logging and drill stem testing (DST) operations and concentrations were ‘almost 9,000 times’ above background levels. The well was spudded on January 6 (click here).
Hydrogen also flowed to surface during basement testing, at a concentration of 2.2%, over 37,000 times above background levels.
Lorna Blaisse, CEO, said the results from the down hole well testing have clearly confirmed the presence of a producing helium province in the Rukwa Rift Basin, where it currently holds 12 prospecting licences.
She said, “The learnings from the Tai-3 well provided invaluable additional subsurface information and how the helium system works. By applying these findings, we adjusted our well location at Itumbula, and this has certainly yielded the results we were hoping for and justified that decision.
“Flowing helium to surface in such high concentrations is a huge milestone … and we will now fully evaluate these results and focus on advancing this project in the most effective way possible; one that will aim to achieve commerciality at the earliest opportunity.”
In a separate statement on January 25, Itumbula West-1 has reached a total depth of 961m.
The successful results of the wireline logging, combined with the acquisition of image logs, confirmed the presence and location of the fault zones and fractured Basement that were originally identified through the evaluation of the 2D seismic.
Helium shows obtained from the drilling mud whilst drilling had already indicated that these zones were likely to be helium-bearing intervals, and the wireline data enabled the well test intervals to be identified.
The company identified three zones for well testing, and upon completion of each DST, all three zones successfully yielded downhole gas samples.
When performing the Basement DST, high concentrations of helium began to flow to surface following reverse circulation and yielded a compositional mix up to 4.7% helium, 1.5% argon, 8% oxygen and 86% nitrogen.
These results were evaluated using an onsite Mass Spectrometer and verified from downhole samples by a field PVT laboratory at the well site. A measured helium concentration of 4.7% equates to almost nine thousand times above background levels (5.3ppm).
Despite having an accurate, independent field PVT laboratory on site, the company has collected duplicate samples where possible, and these will be sent to a second laboratory for independent verification.
During the DST, it was noted that the downhole temperature gauges detected elevated temperatures (>80°C) associated with the release of hot Basement fluids, and subsequently, helium. These temperatures are indicative of a low enthalpy geothermal well.
This geothermal energy has the potential to result in either a direct use project or a binary fluid electricity producing plant. Which in turn could be utilised in a number of ways which may include powering several functions in the development and production phase.
Alongside Rukwa, Helium One’s Tanzania projects include Eyasi and Balangida.