Solo Oil plc (LON:SOLO), the natural resources investment company focused on acquiring and developing a diverse global non-operated portfolio of strategic oil and gas assets has today announced recent technical progress by Helium One Limited (“Helium One”), the pure play helium explorer in Tanzania in which Solo currently holds a 10% shareholding interest.
Solo and Helium One have also negotiated several agreements including a Technical Services Agreement (“TSA”) through which Solo will continue to provide valuable technical assistance, especially in the areas of seismic analysis, interpretation and prospect assessment. Solo will be remunerated for its contribution to the technical program and associated costs, designed to reach drilling decisions on the prospects and leads already identified in the Rukwa area of Tanzania, by way of the issue of new shares in Helium One. It is anticipated that through this mechanism Solo will increase its holdings in Helium One to approximately 15%, with the planned work to be completed in the first half of 2018.
Over the last few months Helium One, with Solo’s direct assistance, have continued the technical studies designed to reach drilling decisions on the prospects and leads already identified in the Rukwa Basin. In addition to the soil and seep geochemistry data previously acquired, Helium One has been able to carry out various seismic reprocessing trials aimed at improving the quality of existing seismic data to allow for more detailed structural and stratigraphic mapping of the identified prospects and leads.
Further analysis work, which will be supervised by Solo under the TSA, is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2018 at which time this enhanced data set will be integrated into the other data types, for example geochemistry and airborne surveys, and a new resource estimate made. Direct gas indications such as amplitude versus offset anomalies, bright spots and gas chimneys have been observed on the data and these support the extensive seep geochemistry work that has been done to date. As a result of this planned work a full prospect ranking will be completed prior to the planned drilling which is expected to be underway later in 2018.
Neil Ritson, Solo Oil plc Chairman commented: “Recent technical work, especially the addition of improved seismic imaging, has significantly enhanced our ability to predict the likelihood of finding trapped helium in the subsurface. When that is combined with scoping studies for the development phase of any discovery we are increasingly confident that we will be able to reach low risk drilling decisions in the next year. We look forward to further contributing to this program and to participating in the eventual drilling of this exciting new play in 2018.”
Tom Abraham-James, Helium One’s Chief Executive commented: “We are very pleased with the progress being made towards drilling and are delighted that Solo will be able to continue to directly assist the project over the coming months. The scoping study recently conducted on the Songwe prospect in Rukwa by SRK Consulting fully supports the economic viability of development should the current exploration phase be successful with the drill bit.”