Emerging domestic natural gas and helium producer Renergen has signed a contract with hydraulic exploration drilling rig manufacturer Bohrmeister Technik to start the drilling of the first inclined well for the delivery of gas to Phase 1 of Renergen’s Virginia gas project, in the Free State.
Renergen anticipates that mobilisation will take about six weeks and, once completed, it will take another eight weeks for drilling to be completed.
The company confirmed on May 13 that all necessary safety precautions required to ensure the health of all members of the drilling team had been implemented, and “will be given the highest level of priority” under full compliance with regulations during the Covid-19 crisis.
CEO Stefano Marani says drilling will take place in an area of very high prospectivity, where helium concentrations are known to be around 2%. The subsurface of the targeted area is also highly fractured.
“These fractures carry the helium-bearing gas from much deeper depths and are mostly subvertical,” he explains, highlighting that this reduces the risk of drilling and not striking the gas-bearing fractures.
A successful inclined well will prove the efficacy of these types of wells and will optimise the drilling plan moving forward.
It will also increase the potential to hit more than a single fracture per well, which will result in more gas flow with less drilling required.