New product drawn from deep under prairie soil may provide a natural resource boom for Alberta and Saskatchewan

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seoulbro
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New product drawn from deep under prairie soil may provide a natural resource boom for Alberta and Saskatchewan

#1 Unread post by seoulbro » January 6th, 2020, 4:23 pm

Canadian oilpatch hopes float on Prairie helium drilling prospects

CALGARY — A veteran of Canada's ailing oilpatch is hoping a new product drawn from deep under Prairie grain fields will provide a natural resource boom for Western Canada.

After 35 years in the oil and gas industry, he had grown frustrated by its multiplying headaches, including environmental criticism, pipeline constraints, regulatory burdens and the need to adopt expensive new technologies as easy-to-produce pools of oil and gas are depleted.

But New York-based financial manager Nick Snyder, 36, founder and chairman of privately held North American Helium, assured him none of those problems exist with helium, the lighter-than-air product he plans to produce and export.

The rush to get in on a new resource industry recalls the excitement of the oil and gas sector in the '80s, McDougall, named president and chief operating officer last spring, said in an interview from the company's modest downtown Calgary offices.

"You do things right," he said. "You have an idea, you capture land, you shoot seismic, you go out and drill exploration wells, you make discoveries and it just rolls on from there.""It's still a lot of rank exploration right now," she said, adding no one knows how much helium — produced by the decay of radioactive uranium and thorium — the province contains.

Virginia-based Weil Group Resources reactivated two legacy helium wells in 2016 and built a 40-million-cubic-feet-per-year, $10-million helium separation facility at Mankato in the southwest corner of the province.

Helium, the second most plentiful element in the universe, is in short supply on Earth.

Helium's unique ability to remain a liquid at extremely low temperatures makes it the cooling agent of choice for superconducting magnets in research and medicine (including MRIs). It's also essential in rocketry and plasma welding.

The global market for helium, meanwhile, is being thrown wide open by the U.S. government's decision five years ago to gradually sell off its strategic reserves of the inert gas and turn the market it now heavily influences over to the private sector by 2021.

The environment is ripe for a resurgence of the industry in Saskatchewan, which produced helium from wells for about a decade 50 years ago before foundering due to slumping prices, said Melinda Yurkowski, assistant chief geologist for the Saskatchewan Geological Survey.

"It's still a lot of rank exploration right now," she said, adding no one knows how much helium — produced by the decay of radioactive uranium and thorium — the province contains.

Virginia-based Weil Group Resources reactivated two legacy helium wells in 2016 and built a 40-million-cubic-feet-per-year, $10-million helium separation facility at Mankato in the southwest corner of the province.

Helium was trucked to Weil's liquefaction facilities in the U.S. and sold until the wells were suspended due to production problems in mid-2019. Weil has since drilled a new well to try to restore output.

The company has plans to produce helium in Alberta as well and is considering eventually building a liquefaction facility there to super-cool the gas to liquid form so it can be shipped in high-pressure tanks anywhere in the world, Weil CEO Jeff Vogt said.

Western Canada has an advantage over other new sources of helium in that its best reserves are found in pools made up of 95 per cent nitrogen, said Scott Mundle, an assistant professor and researcher at the University of Windsor in Ontario who has been studying samples from helium explorers.

North American Helium is the most active of the handful of companies that have staked out a total of 1.7 million hectares of helium leases and permits in Saskatchewan.

It has drilled 13 new helium wells in southwestern Saskatchewan, with 11 considered commercially viable, and has tentative plans to open a plant to process gas from a single well by mid-2020.

Moving forward with production will depend on signing long-term supply contracts with buyers, who will most likely be from among the big industrial gas suppliers who currently control global distribution, McDougall said.

The potential is huge, Snyder said. North American Helium's five-year plan includes wells, separation plants and liquefaction facilities to supply a substantial chunk of global demand currently pegged at about seven billion cubic feet per year.

"We think internally a reasonable expectation is that as the (American) fields decline ... providing about 10 per cent of global supply — 700 million cubic feet per year — is very much the sweet spot in terms of being achievable and capital efficient with the land base we have."
https://www.guelphtoday.com/national-bu ... ts-2000034

It won't replace the Western Canadian oil and gas sector which the Trudeau regime is trying to destroy. But, it could be a nice source of additional resource revenue. It could also get drilling rigs and seismic crews working again.
A claim for equality of material position can be met only by a government with totalitarian powers. Friedrich August von Hayek

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Fashionista
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Joined: October 13th, 2019, 6:54 pm

Re: New product drawn from deep under prairie soil may provide a natural resource boom for Alberta and Saskatchewan

#2 Unread post by Fashionista » January 6th, 2020, 4:40 pm

Helium you say??

I had no idea it was extracted in the same way as conventional oil and gas..

This is indeed good news for the conventional oil and gas business.

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iron horse jockey
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Joined: April 1st, 2016, 6:51 pm

Re: New product drawn from deep under prairie soil may provide a natural resource boom for Alberta and Saskatchewan

#3 Unread post by iron horse jockey » January 6th, 2020, 5:05 pm

seoulbro wrote:Canadian oilpatch hopes float on Prairie helium drilling prospects

CALGARY — A veteran of Canada's ailing oilpatch is hoping a new product drawn from deep under Prairie grain fields will provide a natural resource boom for Western Canada.

After 35 years in the oil and gas industry, he had grown frustrated by its multiplying headaches, including environmental criticism, pipeline constraints, regulatory burdens and the need to adopt expensive new technologies as easy-to-produce pools of oil and gas are depleted.

But New York-based financial manager Nick Snyder, 36, founder and chairman of privately held North American Helium, assured him none of those problems exist with helium, the lighter-than-air product he plans to produce and export.

The rush to get in on a new resource industry recalls the excitement of the oil and gas sector in the '80s, McDougall, named president and chief operating officer last spring, said in an interview from the company's modest downtown Calgary offices.

"You do things right," he said. "You have an idea, you capture land, you shoot seismic, you go out and drill exploration wells, you make discoveries and it just rolls on from there.""It's still a lot of rank exploration right now," she said, adding no one knows how much helium — produced by the decay of radioactive uranium and thorium — the province contains.

Virginia-based Weil Group Resources reactivated two legacy helium wells in 2016 and built a 40-million-cubic-feet-per-year, $10-million helium separation facility at Mankato in the southwest corner of the province.

Helium, the second most plentiful element in the universe, is in short supply on Earth.

Helium's unique ability to remain a liquid at extremely low temperatures makes it the cooling agent of choice for superconducting magnets in research and medicine (including MRIs). It's also essential in rocketry and plasma welding.

The global market for helium, meanwhile, is being thrown wide open by the U.S. government's decision five years ago to gradually sell off its strategic reserves of the inert gas and turn the market it now heavily influences over to the private sector by 2021.

The environment is ripe for a resurgence of the industry in Saskatchewan, which produced helium from wells for about a decade 50 years ago before foundering due to slumping prices, said Melinda Yurkowski, assistant chief geologist for the Saskatchewan Geological Survey.

"It's still a lot of rank exploration right now," she said, adding no one knows how much helium — produced by the decay of radioactive uranium and thorium — the province contains.

Virginia-based Weil Group Resources reactivated two legacy helium wells in 2016 and built a 40-million-cubic-feet-per-year, $10-million helium separation facility at Mankato in the southwest corner of the province.

Helium was trucked to Weil's liquefaction facilities in the U.S. and sold until the wells were suspended due to production problems in mid-2019. Weil has since drilled a new well to try to restore output.

The company has plans to produce helium in Alberta as well and is considering eventually building a liquefaction facility there to super-cool the gas to liquid form so it can be shipped in high-pressure tanks anywhere in the world, Weil CEO Jeff Vogt said.

Western Canada has an advantage over other new sources of helium in that its best reserves are found in pools made up of 95 per cent nitrogen, said Scott Mundle, an assistant professor and researcher at the University of Windsor in Ontario who has been studying samples from helium explorers.

North American Helium is the most active of the handful of companies that have staked out a total of 1.7 million hectares of helium leases and permits in Saskatchewan.

It has drilled 13 new helium wells in southwestern Saskatchewan, with 11 considered commercially viable, and has tentative plans to open a plant to process gas from a single well by mid-2020.

Moving forward with production will depend on signing long-term supply contracts with buyers, who will most likely be from among the big industrial gas suppliers who currently control global distribution, McDougall said.

The potential is huge, Snyder said. North American Helium's five-year plan includes wells, separation plants and liquefaction facilities to supply a substantial chunk of global demand currently pegged at about seven billion cubic feet per year.

"We think internally a reasonable expectation is that as the (American) fields decline ... providing about 10 per cent of global supply — 700 million cubic feet per year — is very much the sweet spot in terms of being achievable and capital efficient with the land base we have."
https://www.guelphtoday.com/national-bu ... ts-2000034

It won't replace the Western Canadian oil and gas sector which the Trudeau regime is trying to destroy. But, it could be a nice source of additional resource revenue. It could also get drilling rigs and seismic crews working again.
If it provides good paying blue collar jobs, you know Trudeau will block it.
“No issue better illustrates the divide between America’s working class and America’s political class than illegal immigration- Donald J. Trump.

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Herman
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Joined: July 20th, 2015, 7:24 pm

Re: New product drawn from deep under prairie soil may provide a natural resource boom for Alberta and Saskatchewan

#4 Unread post by Herman » January 6th, 2020, 6:18 pm

seoulbro wrote:Canadian oilpatch hopes float on Prairie helium drilling prospects

CALGARY — A veteran of Canada's ailing oilpatch is hoping a new product drawn from deep under Prairie grain fields will provide a natural resource boom for Western Canada.

After 35 years in the oil and gas industry, he had grown frustrated by its multiplying headaches, including environmental criticism, pipeline constraints, regulatory burdens and the need to adopt expensive new technologies as easy-to-produce pools of oil and gas are depleted.

But New York-based financial manager Nick Snyder, 36, founder and chairman of privately held North American Helium, assured him none of those problems exist with helium, the lighter-than-air product he plans to produce and export.

The rush to get in on a new resource industry recalls the excitement of the oil and gas sector in the '80s, McDougall, named president and chief operating officer last spring, said in an interview from the company's modest downtown Calgary offices.

"You do things right," he said. "You have an idea, you capture land, you shoot seismic, you go out and drill exploration wells, you make discoveries and it just rolls on from there.""It's still a lot of rank exploration right now," she said, adding no one knows how much helium — produced by the decay of radioactive uranium and thorium — the province contains.

Virginia-based Weil Group Resources reactivated two legacy helium wells in 2016 and built a 40-million-cubic-feet-per-year, $10-million helium separation facility at Mankato in the southwest corner of the province.

Helium, the second most plentiful element in the universe, is in short supply on Earth.

Helium's unique ability to remain a liquid at extremely low temperatures makes it the cooling agent of choice for superconducting magnets in research and medicine (including MRIs). It's also essential in rocketry and plasma welding.

The global market for helium, meanwhile, is being thrown wide open by the U.S. government's decision five years ago to gradually sell off its strategic reserves of the inert gas and turn the market it now heavily influences over to the private sector by 2021.

The environment is ripe for a resurgence of the industry in Saskatchewan, which produced helium from wells for about a decade 50 years ago before foundering due to slumping prices, said Melinda Yurkowski, assistant chief geologist for the Saskatchewan Geological Survey.

"It's still a lot of rank exploration right now," she said, adding no one knows how much helium — produced by the decay of radioactive uranium and thorium — the province contains.

Virginia-based Weil Group Resources reactivated two legacy helium wells in 2016 and built a 40-million-cubic-feet-per-year, $10-million helium separation facility at Mankato in the southwest corner of the province.

Helium was trucked to Weil's liquefaction facilities in the U.S. and sold until the wells were suspended due to production problems in mid-2019. Weil has since drilled a new well to try to restore output.

The company has plans to produce helium in Alberta as well and is considering eventually building a liquefaction facility there to super-cool the gas to liquid form so it can be shipped in high-pressure tanks anywhere in the world, Weil CEO Jeff Vogt said.

Western Canada has an advantage over other new sources of helium in that its best reserves are found in pools made up of 95 per cent nitrogen, said Scott Mundle, an assistant professor and researcher at the University of Windsor in Ontario who has been studying samples from helium explorers.

North American Helium is the most active of the handful of companies that have staked out a total of 1.7 million hectares of helium leases and permits in Saskatchewan.

It has drilled 13 new helium wells in southwestern Saskatchewan, with 11 considered commercially viable, and has tentative plans to open a plant to process gas from a single well by mid-2020.

Moving forward with production will depend on signing long-term supply contracts with buyers, who will most likely be from among the big industrial gas suppliers who currently control global distribution, McDougall said.

The potential is huge, Snyder said. North American Helium's five-year plan includes wells, separation plants and liquefaction facilities to supply a substantial chunk of global demand currently pegged at about seven billion cubic feet per year.

"We think internally a reasonable expectation is that as the (American) fields decline ... providing about 10 per cent of global supply — 700 million cubic feet per year — is very much the sweet spot in terms of being achievable and capital efficient with the land base we have."
https://www.guelphtoday.com/national-bu ... ts-2000034

It won't replace the Western Canadian oil and gas sector which the Trudeau regime is trying to destroy. But, it could be a nice source of additional resource revenue. It could also get drilling rigs and seismic crews working again.
This sounds all fine and good. And a few of my buddies who are supervising rigs may get some additional days or even weeks drilling for helium instead of oil or gas. But, helium is not a substitute for either oil or gas. They have so many thousands of uses that are essential for life. Our world cannot survive without either.

Helium is a nice sideline. But we need Ottawa to stop standing in the way of our responsible oil and gas development. And we need them to do it yesterday.
prairie redneck.

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seoulbro
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Re: New product drawn from deep under prairie soil may provide a natural resource boom for Alberta and Saskatchewan

#5 Unread post by seoulbro » January 6th, 2020, 8:59 pm

Herman wrote: This sounds all fine and good. And a few of my buddies who are supervising rigs may get some additional days or even weeks drilling for helium instead of oil or gas. But, helium is not a substitute for either oil or gas. They have so many thousands of uses that are essential for life. Our world cannot survive without either.

Helium is a nice sideline. But we need Ottawa to stop standing in the way of our responsible oil and gas development. And we need them to do it yesterday.
I realize helium is not going to pick up ALL the slack from Trudeau's assault on Western Canadian oil and gas.
A claim for equality of material position can be met only by a government with totalitarian powers. Friedrich August von Hayek

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