American Helium (TSX.V: AHE) (OTC: AHELF)
American Helium (TSX.V: AHE) (OTC: AHELF) is a resource exploration company focused on the global growth of technology-driven demand for helium and the development of helium resources in North America.
The Canadian helium exploration and development company is led by a experienced management and technical team. The company has a diverse range of projects in known areas for Helium exploration.
The company has executed a project agreement with Yankee Resources LLC of Golden, CO and has appointed LoneTree Energy & Associates LLC to acquire certain acreage in SE Colorado. The project consists of two parts. The first objective is to re-drill two wells that have proven helium resources. Both were plugged and abandoned in the mid-nineties, offering the potential for near term production. The second part of the project will offer an exploration focus through the acquisition of up to 14,000 acres of land a shoot a 3D seismic survey of some 28 square miles to mature prospects in the Upper Morrow formation where helium content of 4 to 5% is expected. The seismic survey is planned for late 2018 and can be carried out after the harvest season and in parallel with the re-entry or re-drill of the two wells.
The company has also executed an agreement with Holbrook Basin Energy LLC of Golden, CO to undertake an exploration program in Arizona. The Arizona project location is in the "Four Corners" area where the States of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona meet, and in the helium productive Holbrook Basin, a well-established helium production district where concentrations of the gas are as high as 10%. The area has good potential for additional discovery and production. The abundant nature of the region has led to anecdotal statements over the years that "Arizona is the Saudi Arabia of helium." Holbrook Basin Energy has developed a compelling exploration play and target land identification is underway.
The company holds a 100 percent working interest and 87.5 percent net revenue interest in 12 federal leases at its Bruin Point property spanning across 17,000 acres in the Greater Uintah Basin, Carbon County, Utah.
Evaluation is currently ongoing to determine potential additional acquisitions in regions that are known for their helium production.
The company has a satellite office in Denver aimed at facilitating expansion in SE Colorado. Company President and CEO Frank Jacobs, a petroleum engineer with 35+ years of operational experience, oversees all U.S.-based operations.
Global helium demand is driven by a number of different industries. Primarily, the military, healthcare, nuclear, aviation and electronics. A colorless, odorless and non-toxic gas, helium is lighter than air and it has the lowest boiling point of all elements. This property makes it essential for a wide variety of high-tech based applications.
The U.S. ranks as the largest producer and consumer of helium. North America accounts for approximately a third of the world's helium consumption (2.6 billion cubic feet of helium per year). The world's annual consumption of helium is around eight billion cubic feet per year. As far as production goes, the U.S. is responsible for 55 percent of the global helium supply. Qatar, Algeria and Russia come next.
The fact that production efforts have been centralized and focused in just a few countries has long been a source of concern. "The concentration of production among a handful of countries will continue to be the leading driver of uncertainty of helium supply and price volatility. We are working to identify, explore and place into production helium assets. With the right assets and the necessary funding we are confident we can achieve this objective," Frank Jacobs said.
The price of helium has doubled since 2010 because this unique gas cannot be substituted in its applications. In addition, a Qatar production blockage has had a massive negative impact on the helium supply. In the summer of 2017, Qatar's RasGas closed down both of its plants, responsible for approximately 32 percent of the global helium demand. This shift has contributed to highly favorable supply and demand fundamentals for the remaining market players.
Experts predict that the demand for the gas will continue to grow in the years to come. The global helium market set to exceed $1.5 billion by 2020, advancing at a compound annual growth rate of 9 percent, according to Technavio analysts. Over 20 percent of the global helium demand is for healthcare applications. MRI machines are being installed in hospitals more frequently than ever before, potentially increasing the demand for helium in the medical industry. Innovative aerospace projects and technical applications are also expected to elevate the helium market forecasts in the years to come. Large corporations such as Google and Netflix have both been buying up significant amounts of helium, as the gas can increase the storage capacity of hard drives while also bringing down power consumption.
Additional information about the American Helium research and exploration activities will become available in the months to come. With its diverse selection of projects, the company is positioning itself to capture the numerous opportunities stemming from increasing helium prices and the growing global demand. Successful implementation of the above strategies is contingent on a number of items including the ability to acquire additional acreage. The Company is actively seeking the capital necessary to implement the drill program.