The project is about the set up of a Joint Venture aimed at the production of helium to be extracted from natural gas produced in certain fields in North Africa.
Our customer is a world leading gases and Engineering company working in more than 100 countries worldwide, whose strategy is geared towards sustainable earnings-based growth and focuses on the expansion of its international business with forward-looking products and services.
Helium is generated underground by the radioactive decay of heavy elements such as uranium and thorium. Some of this helium becomes trapped under impermeable layers of rock and mixes with the natural gases that form there. The amount of helium found in various natural gas deposits varies from almost zero to as high as 4% by volume. Only about one-tenth of the working natural gas fields have economically viable concentrations of helium greater than 0.2-0.4%.
The concerned country has vast natural gas reserves and is looking to increase its natural gas exports, particularly to Europe. The exploration and production sharing agreement program promoted by the government attracted numerous international oil & gas companies and was quite successful.
Four main natural gas developments have been suggested as possible sources of helium.
Helium is present in certain gas fields and its extraction may be convenient when associated to a new gas liquefaction plant dedicated to export.