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As global helium shortage persists, Grand Gulf Energy lifted on gas find at Utah project

Mon 30 May 22, 11:03am (AEST)
Generic image of helium balloon release
Source: Generic image of helium balloon release

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Key Points

  • Grand Gulf Energy hits 203ft gas column in maiden Jesse-1A well with helium concentrations up to 1,350ppm
  • Company has access to a pipeline leading to a helium processing plant operated by Paradox Resources with offtake agreement in place
  • 2022 helium shortage has left the National Weather Service unable to release weather balloons; party supplies sector also struggling

Grand Gulf Energy (ASX:GGE) has hit a 203ft gas column downhole the company's maiden Jesse#1A well onsite the Red Helium Project in Utah, USA. 

Quadrupole mass spectrometry testing detected multiple zones within the column with elevated helium concentrations some fifteen times higher than natural background levels of 90 parts per million helium, indicating concentrations of some 1,350ppm. 

The Jesse well is targeting the Leadville Formation, the company says the log character intersected in the well is analogous to wells at the producing Doe Canyon field some 15 miles east. 

The company further adds preliminary well results are exceeding pre-drill expectations, supported by the confirmation of a highly dolomitised reservoir. Samples will be sent on to a laboratory for precise calculation of helium concentrations returned in flow testing. 

(Source: Grand Gulf Energy) A map locating the company's acreage in relation to the Libson helium plant pipeline

Work-over rig set for arrival in mid-June

The company has hired a work-over rig to be mobilised to Jesse#1A; Grand Gulf notes "extremely tight market conditions due to high commodity prices" means the work-over rig will not be available for 2 weeks. 

The rig will run 4.5 inch production tubing downhole and inject acidic materials into the well to boost flow test results. 

Those work-over tests will confirm helium concentration, commercial flow rates and connected reservoir properties. The Red Helium project boasts a P50 prospective helium resource of some 10.9 billion cubic feet. 

Grand Gulf set for easy sales transition as shortage persists 

Grand Gulf notes Jesse#1A is immediately nearby an utilised pipeline connected to the Libson helium processing plant operated by Paradox Resources LCC. 

The two parties executed an offtake agreement in March this year, with Paradox to receive helium gas from the Red Helium Project. 

There is currently a shortage of helium gas hitting world markets in 2022 as two unrelated plants in the US and Russia were both taken offline earlier this year for unscheduled maintenance. The Russian facility has been further impeded by sanctions placed upon the Kremlin following the invasion of Ukraine in late February. 

US company Dollar Tree, which sells helium balloons for parties among other products, in the last week published a statement on its website apologising for the shortage of helium balloons to American consumers. 

If that wasn't bad enough, there are more concerning implications for a global helium shortage: in April, the US National Weather Service noted it wasn't able to release as many weather balloons as planned because it was not able to find the helium to send the devices skyward. 

Grand Gulf's three month charts compared to the energy index (XEJ)
Grand Gulf's three month charts compared to the energy index (XEJ)

 

Written By

Jonathon Davidson

Finance Writer

Jonathon is a journalism graduate and avid market watcher with exposure to governance, NGO and mining environments. He was most recently hired as an oil and gas specialist for a trade publication. Email Jon at [email protected].

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