Helium One Global Ltd has said that all its prospecting licenses in Tanzania have been renewed, demonstrating Tanzania Government’s the continued support and commitment to its project.
The company noted that it has changed rig supplier after legal complications, but still is targeting a spud date at the Rukwa licence in Tanzania in the first quarter of next year.
With the company believing legal issues around the previously announced Predator rig would have had an impact on its availability, it has now signed a memorandum of understanding with Exalo Drilling, an onshore drilling arm of Poland’s Orlen Group.
Costs of the drilling programme are not expected to increase materially compared to use of the Predator rig.
Exalo, which has a fleet of 35 land rigs, is expected to mobilise an agreed rig once it has completed its current operation in southern Africa.
Helium One said it will utilise an active rig and crew directly from a drilling campaign in the region with “no need for lengthy rig assessment process”, while “rapid mobilisation” is also anticipated as the rig can be broken down into parts, and also be transported with a Baker Hughes integrated service package that is currently in use.
Chief executive David Minchin said he looked forward to finalising contract negotiations and welcoming Exalo on board as an experienced drilling contractor for the Phase II drilling campaign.
“As the rig is currently undertaking drilling operations a lengthy assessment process is not required, allowing the company to execute final contracts without additional delay,” he said.
“The rig has a larger 1200HP powertrain which will minimise the risk of downhole and operational issues and ensure that the company has the best possible chance of identifying an economic helium discovery at Rukwa.”