Calgary, Alberta, Feb. 03, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Imperial Helium Corp. (TSXV: IHC; OTCQB: IMPHF) (“IHC” or the “Company”), a growth-oriented company focused on advancing commercialization of our Steveville, Alberta helium discovery asset (the “Steveville Asset”), which is collectively comprised of the Steveville Structure and Steveville East areas in Southeastern Alberta, is pleased to announce that we have confirmed the presence of helium in an additional zone on the Steveville Structure.
Following the drilling, logging and casing of our third well, IHC-Steveville-3 (12-12-020-12W4), we have commenced the first of two planned 30-day production tests on the well which will be run consecutively to test two separate zones in the Beaverhill Lake formation (“BHL”). The two zones being tested are the new lower Sub-Salt Zone (“SSZ”), and the Blow-Out-Zone (“BOZ”), which was previously production tested as our first potential producing horizon in IHC-Steveville-2 (103/10-22-020-12W4). Consistent with IHC-Steveville-2, IHC will engage an independent third-party to analyze the production test results from both the SSZ and BOZ in IHC-Steveville-3, which will be communicated as available.
SSZ First Production Test - Preliminary Indications
Upon commencing the first production test of the new SSZ, an immediate strong flow of gas to the surface was observed.
The gas has a helium concentration of 0.51% based on initial gas analysis - approximately 19% higher than the concentration encountered from the BOZ in IHC-Steveville-2.
Petrophysical results from IHC-Steveville-3 indicates a pay thickness of approximately 5.2 metres for the SSZ.
SSZ has similar reservoir properties and characteristics to those found in the pay zone of the BOZ in IHC-Steveville-2.
Gas analysis of the SSZ shows no presence of CO2, which is positive from an environmental impact perspective.
Production testing of the SSZ will record pressures over a ten-day flow period followed by approximately 20 days of the well being shut-in.
BOZ Testing to Follow SSZ Test
Upon completion of the 30-day test of the SSZ zone, Imperial will commence a 30-day test of the BOZ zone which will include a gas composition test to confirm helium concentrations within the BOZ in IHC-Steveville-3.
As with production testing of the SSZ, tests of the BOZ will record pressures over a ten-day flow period followed by approximately 20 days of the well being shut-in.
Because of the high reservoir quality of the BOZ, IHC will locate pressure recorders within IHC-Steveville-2 to determine if the BOZ in IHC-Steveville-2 and IHC-Steveville-3 are in pressure communication over a distance of 4.2kms.
As previously reported, the BOZ tested in IHC-Steveville-2 is estimated to be capable of an absolute open flow (“AOF”) rate of 22 mmcf/d, or sustained production of 5-8 mmcf/d for a period of three years before a gentle decline of approximately 15% per year commences and extends for an overall well life of 15 to 20 years based on current resource estimates.
Contingent Resource estimates by an independent assessor are expected to be underpinned by successful production tests from both the BOZ and SSZ following completion of the production testing. Based on a petrophysical comparison of IHC-Steveville-3 and IHC-Steveville-2, we anticipate production test results from the BOZ in IHC-Steveville-3 will be consistent with those realized at IHC-Steveville-2. Such resource estimates can be reclassified to booked Reserves once an offtake agreement for the sale of helium has been secured. Negotiations for such an offtake agreement are ongoing and we anticipate finalizing terms in the first half of 2022.
IHC has partnered with ON2 Solutions for the fabrication of a prototype helium separation plant (the “Prototype Plant”), designed to demonstrate IHC’s ability to produce 99.999% pure (Grade A) helium from our assets and expedite the production and monetization of our projects. Due to supply chain constraints and a tight labour market caused by COVID-19, ON2 Solutions has realized some timing delays on the completion and testing of the Prototype Plant. As ON2 Solutions resolves these issues, the required testing will commence. When combined with a pending offtake agreement, this is a critical milestone on IHC’s path to producing commercial volumes of helium before the end of 2022.
About Imperial Helium Corp.
Imperial Helium Corp. is focused on the exploration and development of helium assets in North America, initially through the anticipated commercialization of its Steveville, Alberta helium discovery. With increasing helium supply shortfalls around the world, the Company is committed to becoming a supplier of helium to help meet the needs of the many critical industries which rely on this irreplaceable resource, including healthcare, electronics and semiconductors as well as aerospace and leak detection. Driven by Canadian geoscience and engineering expertise and supported by strategic alliances with key players in the helium and capital markets ecosystem, IHC intends to leverage its proprietary well database to support longer-term growth. IHC is based in Calgary, Alberta, and listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol “IHC”. To learn more about the Company and expand on the subject of helium, please visit www.imperialhelium.ca.
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Forward-Looking and Cautionary Statements
Certain information included in this press release constitutes forward-looking information under applicable securities legislation. Forward-looking information typically contains statements with words such as “anticipate”, “believe”, “expect”, “plan”, “intend”, “estimate”, “propose”, “project”, “will” or similar words suggesting future outcomes or statements regarding an outlook. Forward-looking information in this press release may include, but is not limited to, statements concerning: drilling activities; discovery activities including re-discovering and capturing the Steveville blow-out; and the business plan of the Company, generally, including helium development and extraction. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are based on certain key expectations and assumptions made by Imperial Helium. Although Imperial believes that the expectations and assumptions on which the forward-looking statements are based are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on the forward-looking statements because Imperial can give no assurance that they will prove to be correct. Since forward-looking statements address future events and conditions, by their very nature they involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from those currently anticipated due to a number of factors and risks. These include, but are not limited to, risks associated with the helium industry in general (e.g., operational risks in development, exploration and production; the uncertainty of reserve estimates; the uncertainty of estimates and projections relating to production, costs and expenses, and health, safety and environmental risks), constraint in the availability of services, commodity price and exchange rate fluctuations, the current COVID-19 pandemic, changes in legislation impacting the helium industry, adverse weather or break-up conditions and uncertainties resulting from potential delays or changes in plans with respect to exploration or development projects or capital expenditures.
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