International advisory firm Sproule was commissioned to estimate the reserves and resources of methane and helium within Renergen’s (ASX:RLT) flagship Virginia Gas Project –  and boy did they come back with a bombshell.

The company’s Virginia production right covers 187,000 hectares in South Africa around the towns and Sproule has just upgraded the 1P helium reserves by 620% to 7.2 Bcf and the 1P methane reserves by 427% to 215.1 Bcf.

It’s great news for the helium market, with the irreplaceable commodity used for space exploration, rocketry, high level science, and in the medical industry for MRI machines.

Renergen Helium reserves
Pic: Following successful drilling campaigns in 2021, Renergen engaged Sproule to estimate the methane and helium reserves and resources at the Virginia Gas Project.


Potential to be a globally significant supplier

“The significant growth in methane and helium reserves at Virginia is a major milestone for the company and confirms Virginia as a world-class helium project,” Renergen CEO Stefano Marani said.

“After more than two years of hard work by the exploration team, the results speak for themselves, and I would like the thank the whole team for their dedicated effort and focus.

“We have and continue to work towards ensuring Virginia is well-placed to supply helium into a growing and constrained market.

“Increasing our 1P helium reserves by over 600% since March 2019 is a great step forward in achieving this goal and importantly, highlights the enormous potential of Virginia to become a significant helium supplier to not only South Africa but globally as well.

“Additionally, an estimated 400 petajoules of methane at 2P also positions the company exceedingly well to become an integral part of South Africa’s energy mix.”

Production flagged for Q1 2022

The company is planning to kick off helium and LNG production in Q1 2022, producing about 350kg of liquid helium and 50 tonnes of LNG a day at an average concentration of 3.9%.

“2022 is shaping up to be even more exciting as we commence production from the Phase 1 plant and begin generating revenue,” Marani said.

And the target once Phase 2 comes online in 2024 is 44,000,000scf per day (of gross gas made up of helium, methane and helium) from the Phase 2 plant and 3,000,000scf from the Phase 1 plant.

To put this in perspective, 40,000,000scf of methane per day is equivalent to 280MW of electricity in a closed-cycle turbine for almost 20 years – and 280MW of power from gas would reduce CO2 emissions by 2.3 million tpa over the life of the Virginia Gas Project.