Natural gas and helium producer Renergen has discovered helium at its Evander exploration rights prospect, with a concentration of 1.1% helium identified in the gas.
Evander spans about 52 000 ha, with many abandoned holes drilled for coal and gold exploration. Evander is also conveniently located around 120 km from South Africa’s Johannesburg industrial hub and is close to the main gas pipeline.
The well in question at Evander was drilled many years ago and has no surface infrastructure, the company explains, adding that as such, the well became waterlogged and is hidden in the middle of planted land.
Despite this, the gas is able to overcome the water pressure and is producing 5 000 standard cubic feet a day. Renergen says it will consider which studies need to be undertaken on the well to begin appraising this part of the Evander field.
To date, no additional logging on the well has been undertaken.
The discovery at Evander continues to demonstrate the significant upside exploration potential.
Over the past three months, Renergen has announced high-grade helium concentrations of 3.15% at well MDR1 and 4.38% at well P007, along with intersecting gas at well R2D2, with assays currently being collected and to be analysed in the laboratory.
Renergen is focused on targeted and ongoing exploration at the Virginia gas project, in the Free State, through its drill programme of a total of six wells.
Further, the pipeline for the Virginia gas project, constructed by EPCM Bonisana, has now been performance tested and performed “better than expected”, with an almost 7% increase in flow relative to the original design characteristics, along with over 30% reduction in power consumption from what had originally been estimated.
The plant is now being laid on its foundations and is awaiting the final shipments to be able to install the plant and connect the pipeline.
“Renergen is a little spoiled with the Virginia gas project and its high helium concentrations, but when you think about it, 1.1% is still an astoundingly high number.
“Evander is a very interesting prospect, with the discovery solidifying our intent to attempt to convert these exploration rights into a production right,” comments CEO Stefano Marani.
He adds that having an onshore energy asset close to Johannesburg is another “major advantage” for Renergen as it “opens up some very interesting opportunities”.