Helium is one of those things that everyone uses and never stops to think about where it actually comes from. The answer will probably surprise you.
Although helium is the second most abundant element in the universe, its supply on Earth is actually very limited. As NPR News states, “helium is generated deep underground through the natural radioactive decay of elements such as uranium and thorium. ‘It takes many, many millennia to make the helium that’s here on the Earth,’ says Sophia Hayes, a chemist at Washington University in St. Louis. The helium seeps up through the Earth’s crust and gets trapped in pockets of natural gas, where it can be extracted.”1
As most helium is trapped in natural gas fields, helium exploration is tied closely to natural gas exploration. However, not every natural gas field contains significant concentrations of helium. This means that Total Helium has to use its technical expertise to identify the most productive sources of helium and extract it as efficiently as possible. In many cases, Total Helium is able to tap into preexisting wells that were drilled for natural gas exploration and repurpose them for helium production by drilling to different depths or using new techniques to extract helium from the wells. This is an efficient use of Total Helium’s capital and a way to extend the lifespan of old wells.
>From a geographic perspective, companies are exploring for helium in locations all over the world. For Total Helium, there are three primary factors that were considered when determining where to explore for helium:
- Abundant supply
- Located in the US (for geopolitical reasons )
- Close proximity to existing infrastructure
Taking those three factors into account, Total Helium selected the Hugoton Gas Field in western Kansas as its first and primary location for helium exploration. The Hugoton is the largest continuous gas and helium field in North America. Through its activities there, Total Helium is extending the useful footprint of one of America’s most historically productive sources of helium.
Total Helium (TSXV:TOH) is a publicly traded helium exploration, production and storage solutions company focused on bringing a reliable domestic supply of helium to the US market. The company’s footprint includes the largest continuous conventional natural gas and helium field in North America. In addition to helium production, Total Helium is also establishing an underground helium storage facility with its industrial gas partner to ensure that the United States has a stable supply of helium at all times.
Sign up to get the latest company and investment news.