Helium One pressing ahead with planned Phase II drilling programme

Helium One Global Ltd (LON:HE1), the primary helium explorer, has provided an update on progress at its Rukwa (100%) project area in Tanzania including details of its planned 2022 drilling campaign.


·   Rig considered suitable for planned operations, with acceptance subject to completion of audit process                                

·    ADC rig audit 80% complete – key components have been tested and operated successfully with no unrecoverable critical faults identified to date

·    Final audit activities expected to re-commence mid-August

·    Tier-one oil and gas service company confirmed as preferred integrated well services contractor.  Helium One is working to define a timeline to mobilise critical well evaluation equipment which will define the start date for Phase II drilling campaign

·    Logistics planning to transport the Rig from Kenya to Rukwa are well advanced and preparations on drill pad design progressed in time to receive the Rig

Rig Audit

Helium One have contracted the services of ADC Energy, an internationally recognised expert in rig audit and evaluation, to perform an independent audit of the proposed drilling rig (“the Rig”) in its yard in Kenya.  Key components including the rig carrier, sub-structure and mast hydraulics, top-drive, iron roughneck, mud tank valves and mud pumps have been observed in operation. The audit, which is now 80% complete, has catalogued required repairs which are being addressed by the drilling company.  There are no major failures identified to date that Helium One management team believe would prevent the Rig from being used successfully in a future drilling campaign.

Completion of the audit was delayed by approximately six days due to a communication issue with a module in the Rig’s management system, which has now been resolved.  With expatriate drill crew currently demobilised from Kenya, audit activities are due to re-commence in mid-August.

Drilling services

With a suitable rig identified and long lead items such as casing and drill bits already ordered, integrated services are the remaining long lead items on project mobilisation.  Integrated services including drilling fluids, wireline evaluation and downhole gas sampling are essential to the successful operation and data collection from the planned drilling campaign. 

Given the importance of these critical services, the Company is pleased to be working with a tier-one oil and gas service provider to finalise the delivery of an integrated drilling services package.  Drilling services are in high demand globally and equipment will need to be shipped from multiple locations to Rukwa ahead of operations.  Helium One is currently working with our preferred service provider to confirm the date that equipment and staff will be available in country as this will determine the earliest date that the drilling can commence. 

Planning for rig transport logistics from Kenya to Rukwa is well advanced and is expected to take approximately one month from acceptance and contracting of the Rig and equipment.  Drill pad construction has been planned utilising a matting system to reduce time and cost associated with project civils.

David Minchin, Helium One Chief Executive Officer, commented:

“The challenge of finding a suitable rig for our next drilling campaign at Rukwa Tanzania has been compounded by increasing demand from the large and medium size oil and gas companies resulting in a scarcity of rigs and ancillary well evaluation equipment available for the East African market. These challenges have been largely overcome and we are pressing ahead with our planned Phase II drilling programme, completing the audit process on the Rig and agreeing availability for provision of integrated well services. 

“Although rig audit activities lost about a week due to an electrical fault in the rig management system, what we have seen to date gives us confidence that no major faults will be found with the Rig which we believe is fit for purpose to deliver the drilling programme that we have planned.

“With a suitable rig identified and long lead items already on order, the remaining part of the operational jigsaw is an integrated services package – which includes critical data collecting items such as wireline tools and downhole gas sampling equipment.  Given the importance of these services we have approached the top names in the oil and gas industry to ensure that data quality is of the highest possible standard.  We are working with our preferred service provider to confirm mobilisation timelines for this critical equipment at the soonest possible opportunity as we move towards execution of our Phase II drilling campaign.”

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