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There’s been some very high highs and very low lows for pure helium explorer Helium One

“…we needed to get drilling again. We have lots of options for 2024…”

Last year was definitely a year of two halves for Helium One’s new chief executive Lorna Blaisse. There was the euphoria of identifying and buying a rig outright, and then there was mechanical complications in November followed by an end of year discounted fundraise.

Both were frustrations for the board and long term shareholders alike, but Blaisse had not deviated from her strategy to secure a rig and create a two well campaign for the pure helium explorer.

Helium One is one of the world’s very few pure or ‘premium’ helium explorers. Other explorers in the region are hybrid explorers dabbling in a smorgasbord of oil, gas condensate and helium.

Blaisse and the board has a singular focus to liberate the helium in the Rukwa Basin and find out what is literally going on in the basement. It found helium at the Tai-3 prospect. Mechanical failure prevented further exploration at that location but the rig was capable of drilling at Itumbula and that well was spudded at the start of 2024.

“It’s down in the basement where we know that the helium is derived and sourced from,” says Blaisse. “And it’s very much our hope from the learnings that we’ve discovered through the drilling of the Tai-3 well, that as we draw closer to these faults and into them and fractures in the basement that the helium picks up.”

In this interview with Sarah Lowther, Lorna explains the decisions made around the rig relocation and what the fresh financing is funding in the second year of her executive role.