Helium One Announces Itumbula West-1 well flows helium (4.7%) to surface

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 2/5/2024, Location: Africa

Helium One Global, the primary helium explorer in Tanzania, is pleased to provide the following update on the completion of the Itumbula West-1 well which saw helium flow to surface.

Highlights
· Itumbula West-1 well has successfully completed all wireline logging and drill stem testing ("DST") operations
· The well successfully flowed a high concentration of helium to surface from Basement, at a measured concentration up to 4.7% helium
· A measured helium concentration of 4.7% equates to almost nine thousand times above background levels
· Hydrogen also flowed to surface during basement testing, at a concentration of 2.2% hydrogen, over thirty-seven thousand times above background levels
· Wireline logs, including image logs, demonstrated the location of fault and fracture zones and these were used to locate optimal well test intervals
· Downhole fluid samples have been obtained from three separate well test intervals, in the Basement and across the fault zones, all were analysed at surface in an onsite pressure-volume-temperature ("PVT") laboratory and indicated the presence of elevated helium
· Duplicate samples collected from all three well test intervals will be sent to a second laboratory for analysis
· Hot Basement fluids, measuring >80°C, encountered across the fault zone and in the Basement and are consistent with helium and hydrogen prone intervals
· Elevated temperatures consistent with a low enthalpy geothermal system
· The well is now being cased and suspended and the Company will fully evaluate the well results and focus on advancing this project in the most effective way possible
· Non-productive time ("NPT") for the Epiroc Predator 220 drilling rig reduced by over 350% between Tai-3 and Itumbula West-1
· Zero Lost Time Injuries ("LTI") across the two well drilling programme of Tai-3 and Itumbula West-1

Lorna Blaisse, Chief Executive Officer, commented:
"We are delighted with the findings from Itumbula West-1 and the results from the down hole well testing have clearly confirmed the presence of a producing helium province in the Rukwa Rift Basin. 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 for the Company 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.

This drilling campaign has been a huge success for both the Company and for Tanzania. I would like to thank all of those involved in bringing the project to this point of success - especially to our in-country teams and for the continued support from the Ministry of Minerals and the Mining Commission of Tanzania, as well as the local communities where we operate.

We look forward to providing further updates as we fully evaluate the results and outline how we are planning the next steps to advance the project."

Details
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).

Two subsequent well tests were carried out across the fault zone and yielded similar results from the downhole samples which were evaluated in the onsite field PVT laboratory. The Company has identified that the frequency of helium increases with depth and is preferentially carried in hot fluids out of the Basement and along fault conduits. As the helium rises through the well bore, the pressure decreases, and it is thought that the helium then comes out of solution and increases in concentration.

This was further collaborated with mudlogging data that showed elevated helium whilst drilling the 8˝" hole section through the Lake Beds Formation and the shallow fault zone. The well produced a continuous measurement of helium gas across the micro-GC and this consistent helium gas measurement was repeated during hole opening operations in preparation for running casing.

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.

In addition to high helium flowing to surface, the Company encountered elevated hydrogen levels that flowed to surface. This concentration of hydrogen was measured at 2.2% using micro-GC equipment and is over thirty-seven thousand times above background levels (0.6ppm).

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.

The Company owned Predator 220 drilling rig completed the drilling of the Itumbula West-1 well in eighteen days to a total depth of 961m measured depth and has successfully run wireline operations and completed three DSTs. NPT for the Epiroc Predator 220 drilling rig was reduced by over 350% between the Tai-3 and Itumbula West-1 wells, with zero downtime related to hydraulic issues. This improvement reflects and justifies the comprehensive upgrade and maintenance programme carried out post Tai-3.

In addition, the Company has successfully to date, completed the two well drilling campaign safely without any LTI.


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