ASX- and JSE-listed natural gas and helium producer Renergen announced a new gas blower named Gandalf at its Virginia gas project, in South Africa’s Free State province, after gas was intersected at 480 m from surface with a flow rate of about 90 000 cubic feet a day.
The target depth is 1 200 m, therefore, after initial testing, the well was cased in preparation to drill to the full depth.
At present, the drillers are preparing to drill through the cement and further to the target depth, which is anticipated to be completed towards the end of August, the company said in a June 30 statement.
Further, commissioning of the Phase 1 plant at the Virginia project is progressing, with current activities involving a gas alarm and monitoring system testing and final insulation installation on hot conduction oil lines and cryogenic lines.
Further, progress includes the first fill of helium product using externally sourced helium into the system, of about 250 kg of high-purity helium, for pre-commissioning and helium leak tests completed and passed.
Additionally, the on-site laboratory, for testing and control of liquefied natural gas and liquefied helium product, has been commissioned and critical staff training completed. The flare system has been pre-commissioned and is ready for testing, while the main compressor building and associated structures have been completed and cleared ready for gas introduction, Renergen said.
“On completion of all of the above activities, we will undertake a final risk assessment before introducing hydrocarbon into the plant and declaring it ready for start-up. Simultaneously our customer sites are progressing as expected and we are confident that synchronisation of these different project timelines will be achieved,” added Renergen CEO Stefano Marani.
“Caution in commissioning has been the central theme over the past weeks, testing meticulously and preparing before introducing hydrocarbons into the system. Delaying start-up a few weeks is a small price to reduce the risk of catastrophic failure, and the team is satisfied with the results being achieved,” he said.