Renergen, the natural gas and helium producer, said yesterday that it had made another discovery of helium as high as 1.9 percent in the P12 well at its Virginia Gas Project in the Free State. Picture: Timothy Bernard 13.01.2015
Renergen, the natural gas and helium producer, said yesterday that it had made another discovery of helium as high as 1.9 percent in the P12 well at its Virginia Gas Project in the Free State. Picture: Timothy Bernard 13.01.2015

Renergen finds another helium deposit at Virginia gas project

By Sandile Mchunu Time of article published Jul 13, 2021

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RENERGEN, the natural gas and helium producer, said yesterday that it had made another discovery of helium as high as 1.9percent in the P12 well at its Virginia Gas Project in the Free State.

The group said it was pleased to announce that the P12 well, which it previously advised would be plugged and abandoned on June 30, was observed to commence flowing gas, at low rates, in the days following rig release.

“The flow rate has subsequently continued to increase with a current flow rate in excess of 30000 standard cubic feet per day. Most significantly, the measured helium concentration in the gas stream is high at 1.9 percent,” the group said.

Chief executive Stefano Marani said: “The significance of this discovery cannot be overstated. While drilling the well was risky with a low conviction of success, the team did its homework and we decided to drill the well to confirm if this fault is gas-bearing, and more importantly whether it contains helium. I cannot express how proud I am of the team and its achievements on a 5 for 6 drilling campaign.”

Renergen is listed on the Alternative exchange of the JSE, and it also listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) in 2019. The group also owns 90 percent of Tetra4, which holds the production rights in South Africa.

In April, Renergen signed a 10-year sales agreement for the supply of helium with iSi Automotive, which was the company’s first direct-to-customer helium deal. About the drilling in p12, the group said the well was drilled using standard rotary drilling, which used water as a drill fluid to remove cuttings during drilling. “Fractures intersected during drilling can drain the drilling fluid, and so it is common practice to use lost circulation material (LCM) to seal the fractures temporarily and allow water laden with drill cutting to circulate back to the surface.

“When drilling is complete, the LCM typically dries and shrinks. In the case of P12, it appears that it took the LCM over a week to shrink enough to allow gas to flow to the surface.

“Although initially the flow was at very low rates, the rate has been steadily climbing daily, and is expected to continue to do so until all the LCM has been completely dried out over the coming weeks,” the group said.

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