Australia-based helium exploration and production company Grand Gulf Energy has made a helium gas discovery following the drilling of the Jesse-2 well in Utah, US.

Jesse-2, which forms part of the Red Helium project, has successfully flowed helium gas to the surface. It confirmed a helium discovery in the Jesse Field with a 192ft gross gas column.

In a press statement, Grand Gulf said: “As per the drilling plan, Jesse-2 was drilled underbalanced to approximately 50ft above the Jesse-1A observed gas water contact at 8,215ft measured depth whilst simultaneously monitoring geologic gas inflow.”

The Jesse-2 well produced helium gas at maximum flow rates of around 30,000 cubic feet of dry gas per day, with average helium concentrations of 0.7%, and up to 0.9%, with no water production.

Grand Gulf said that the helium discovery extends the proven helium play fairway following a significant one-and-a half-mile step-out from the Jesse-1A well.

Grand Gulf is planning to assess stimulation and full flow testing for Jesse-2 as well as workover of the Jesse-1A well to enable future production tie-in.

Grand Gulf Energy managing director Dane Lance said: “With Jesse-2 the company confirmed the extension of the Jesse discovery and its ability to methodically execute a successful drilling programme.

“As with most carbonate reservoirs, our understanding of the heterogeneity of the reservoir increases dramatically with data and we have improved our interpretation and high-graded a third location.”

The company, which has suspended the Jesse-2 well and demobilised the rig, plans to start drilling the new Jesse-3 well.