Virginia Gas Project

About The Virginia Gas Project

The Virginia Gas Project comprises production rights of 187 000 ha of gas fields across Welkom, Virginia and Theunissen, in the Free State, with an additional 
18 732,93 ha in exploration rights. The source of the Virginia Gas Project’s natural gas is primarily microbial.

It originates from deep within the Witwatersrand Supergroup via groundwater circulating through large faults and contacting bacteria deep within the earth’s crust. This means the methane is a biogenic and a continuing renewable resource.

Our natural gas contains one of the richest helium concentrations recorded globally. The natural gas is also very pure, with an average of over 90% methane and almost zero higher alkanes, reducing liquefication complexity and cost to produce. 

The origin of our helium

The origin of our primary asset dates back approximately two billion years when an asteroid 10-15 kilometres in diameter struck the earth near where the town of Vredefort stands today, creating the largest impact structure on Earth, resulting in the 380-kilometre-wide crater in the northern Free State, South Africa (the Vredefort Crater). Our Virginia Gas Project is situated in the Vredefort Crater.

The conditions of this interstellar impact resulted in a cap rock dome that sealed in gas produced as a result of the ultra-rich deposits of uranium and thorium (the source of our helium) and an adaptive deep-seated colony of underground bacteria (the source of our natural gas). The uranium and thorium have been decaying over 1.8 billion years, producing alpha particles that then have become helium.

The bacteria adapted to using the radioactive energy and the carbon from the surrounding environment as their sustenance, much like chlorophyll uses the radioactive energy from the sun. That bacterial colony continues to thrive today, actively producing high-purity natural gas as its waste product. This unique resource of high purity, biogenic natural gas with a high concentration of helium nearly two billion years in the making has now entered the production phase for the benefit of South Africa and the world at a time when global helium and energy supplies are constrained due to geopolitical conditions and supply chain challenges.

Key Facts

First and only onshore petroleum production right in South Africa

One of the richest sources of helium recorded globally

Proven reserves of methane-rich natural gas

A clean substitute for transport fuel, thermal fuel and power

Scalable plant

Our Geological Model

Renergen has developed a detailed three-dimensional underground geological model of faulting, sills, and dykes to determine drill targets and provide coordinates, direction, and entry azimuth to intersect targeted structures.