Botala Energy and Pure Hydrogen achieve major milestone at Botswana gas project

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By Colin Hay - 
Botala Energy BTE ASX Pure Hydrogen PH2 Botswana gas project Serowe

Botala Energy (ASX: BTE) and joint venture partner Pure Hydrogen (ASX: PH2) are celebrating a significant development milestone at the Serowe coal bed methane (CBM) gas project in Botswana.

The companies have achieved a sustainable gas flow from the local coals with gas successfully flared from the Serowe-3.1 well.

Botala, the operator of the project, said the scale of the temporary gas flow indicates that the coals are at their desorption pressure point, demonstrating that the field can produce gas.

Better than expected results

Gas was flared from Serowe-3.1 over 22 minutes measuring a change in pressure of 22 pounds per square inch (psi) and an instantaneous flow-rate of 42 thousand standard cubic feet per day.

Botala chief executive officer, Kris Martinick, said the results are above expectations as the well has not undergone any stimulation work.

“The Serowe-3.1 well test was ‘open hole’ meaning it is open to all three coal seams. Testing of the individual seams will be undertaken as part of Project Pitse. The well has significantly increased Botala’s confidence in the commercial pilot program. The well will be shut-in to allow the pressure to continue to build up for further flow-testing,” he said.

“Flaring gas from the Serowe-3.1 well is a major milestone for the company and indicates the coals in our licences can produce gas.”

“We are continuing to see a consistent build- up of pressure and increased gas flow-rate from the Serowe-3.1 well. It’s very exciting as this is a single well which is providing encouraging data for Project Pitse, where we are targeting production of a commercial flow- rate potential from 4 additional wells.”

Commercial pilot production program

The successful flaring of gas from Serowe-3.1 comes just one day after Botala announced the commencement of drilling of its maiden commercial pilot production program at Serowe.

Serowe-3.2, the first of the 4 wells in the program, was spudded on 1 September 2023 as part of a back-to-back and drilling program expected to be completed within 3 months.

The multi-well program has been designed to assess commercial flow-rate potential within the surroundings of the Serowe-3.1 well and to convert this cluster of five wells into the first commercial production location of Botala’s Project Pitse.

Project Pitse layout

Three of the four new wells will test gas from 3 intercepted coal seams: the Serowe, followed by the Upper and then the Lower Morupule coal seams.

The fourth well will only drill through the Serowe coal seam so it can determine the contribution of gas from this seam.

Botala has also undertaken comprehensive gravity and AMT surveys at various spacings over and near to the Serowe-3 area to build on its understanding of the likely extension and potential of CBM in the Pitse Project region centred around the Serowe- 3.1 well.

The survey results were used to help make the final site selection of the four pilot commercial wells of Pitse Project.

Pure Hydrogen eyeing off Botswana green energy opportunity

Pure Hydrogen holds a 30% stake in Serowe through its 19.9% investment in Botala.

The two companies have signed a term sheet to establish the Serowe Hydrogen Hub renewable energy business targeting 50 megawatts of power generation.

The proposed Botswana hydrogen hub would be one of the largest in Africa. Pure Hydrogen will provide hydrogen support for the project which will potentially be eligible for several financing programs that apply in the country.

The market for green energy in Botswana has been strengthened after developing a renewable energy strategy alongside the World Bank, which will allow the country to become energy independent from neighbouring South Africa.