South Africa’s emerging liquified natural gas (LNG) and helium producer, Renergen believes its Virginia Gas Project in the Free State, South Africa has the potential to meet the global demand for helium for decades.
Comprising 187,000 hectares in the Free State around the towns of Welkom, Virginia and Theunissen, Renergen has a license to operate in the area until 2042, and holds 100% of the economic interest in the production right. Renergen recently undertook a helium prospective resources report, which showed helium volumes of between 30 and 344 billion cubic feet (bcf).
“If you consider the world consumes around 6 bcf of helium per annum, assuming the top end of the prospective resource was recoverable, it would be sufficient helium to supply the entire world demand for almost six decades,” Stefano Marani, CEO of Renergen.
The discovery forms part of Renergen’s ongoing assessment and development of the Virginia Gas Project, for which the company commissioned Dr. Stuart Gilfillan, Senior Lecturer in Geochemistry, and Professor Finlay Stuart, Professor Isotope Geosciences, to conduct a conceptual study of source helium abundance within the Virginia Production Right area of the company.
The world consumes an average of 80 tons of helium a day, Renergen’s report has given the company the required data to start planning phase 2 of the project, and the new phase is expected to supply enough helium to overcome long-term shortfalls.