North Rukwa Project

The North Rukwa Project is the Company’s flagship project located in the Rukwa Basin in southwest Tanzania, which comprises twelve granted Prospecting Licences (PL) covering a combined area of approximately 1,467km2.

The North Rukwa project area is accessible by road via the TANZAM highway from Dar es Salaam to Mbeya at the southern end of Lake Rukwa, followed by regional roads north, to Sumbawanga on the western side of Lake Rukwa and to Gua on the eastern side of Lake Rukwa.

Figure 1. North Rukwa Helium PLs and Leads to date

The Rukwa Basin occupies a 300km-long rift segment of the East African Rift System, located between Lake Tanganyika and Lake Nyasa (Malawi) in southwest Tanzania. With the benefit of legacy oil and gas exploration data that has accelerated the Project, Netherland Sewell and Associates Inc (NSAI) of Houston has independently certified a summed un-risked mean Prospective Helium Resource of 176 billion cubic feet (equivalent to approximately 30 years’ supply) across 9 leads in the North Rukwa, (figure 1, table 1).

With helium measured in rift-related hot springs at up to 10.6% (versus 0.3% commercial cutoff in onshore gasfields in the USA), the Rukwa Basin alone has the potential to be the world’s third largest helium reserve behind USA and Qatar.

Lead Name Summer Mean* Unrisked Prospective Helium Volumes Bcf
Chilichili* 10.5
Kambale* 20.7
Gege* 87.2
Katanta 23.2
Mbale 4.7
Kalawi* 10.2
Mbelele* 10.0
Kachinga* 7.9
Dagaa* 1.1
Summed Total – North Rukwa 175.5
BMFC Totals 147.6

Table 1. North Rukwa Leads and mean prospective helium volumes


During 2022, the Company has systematically completed a series of exploration programs designed to address each component of the helium system of the North Rukwa and understand the basin’s potential for primary helium, particularly within its Basin Margin Fault Closures (BMFCs). These new data and study results, combined with the legacy oil and gas exploration data, have confirmed the extraordinary primary helium prospectivity of the North Rukwa area and its potential for a global-scale primary helium resource.

Data from the Airborne Gravity Gradiometry, Soil Gas Survey, and 3D seismic, along with geotechnical studies undertaken in partnership with the University of Dar es Salaam, James Cook University and Oxford University are now being incorporated into the Company’s PetrelTM based geological model to develop the two best drilling options for its maiden drilling campaign planned for Q3 2023.

Noble Helium has commenced preparations for the drilling campaign, with a seasoned drilling manager and team now in place. The Company is fully funded through drilling preparations and a farmout process is underway, with multiple parties expressing interest.