Initial focus was on helium reserves in the Holbrook Basin of Arizona to address supply to industry, government, the medical sector and research communities.
Exploratory wells drilled in 2004 and 2005 in the Pinta Dome and Concho Dome fields confirmed the potential for large reserves of helium; the area had previously been developed and produced helium during the 1960's and 1970's. Testing also confirmed the existence of large reserves of oil and natural gas.
Exploratory activity was curtailed due to financial constraints and PetroSun set about building its portfolio of leases and expanding its corporate mission to encompass other minerals in order to attract additional investment.
By 2013 lease holdings had grown to 35,000 acres in the Holbrook Basin. Ongoing testing from development wells showed tremendous potential and attracted new capital from investors in subsequent years that provided momentum for future growth.
Part of of PetroSun's mission has been to develop revenue streams and increase shareholder value through the commercialization of forward-looking energy technologies.
From 2015 PetroSun started investing in early-stage technologies that addressed non-shale and unconventional resources, with the emphasis on renewables.
Companies were identified by the symbiotic nature of their associated technologies that included solar thermal enhanced oil recovery of heavy crude, commercializing processes for cryogenic gas purification and liquefaction, oil sands production, solar thermal power and 24/7 energy storage, and water desalination with cost efficient and environmentally safe processes.
These investments were strategic as well as central to PetroSun's goal to reduce harm to the environment during production operations.
In 2016 additional leases were acquired in the Navajo, Coconino and Apache counties of Arizona totaling approximately 200,000 acres.
A new rig was acquired in 2016 and testing from wells drilled in the Concho Dome field of the Holbrook Basin at the end of 2016 provided estimates of contingent helium reserves of 2.29 bcf.
From 2016 to 2018 additional leases were acquired in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah with PetroSun now holding interests in some of the richest oil and gas fields in North America. Total leases amounted to almost 400,000 acres.
In 2020 the company made its first investment outside the USA when it purchased mining concessions in Chihuahua, Mexico, prospective for Lithium in zeolite clay deposits. A coring program was conducted and testing recorded a reserve base of 136,444,240 tons of zeolite clay (surface to 150 feet) with average lithium concentration of 1,763ppm.
Recently PetroSun has taken measures to focus on its core mineral holdings, considered to be oil, natural gas and helium exploration and production. Exploratory-stage subsidiaries that represent distinct businesses from the company's core businesses are in the process of being spun off.
PetroSun has also restructured parts of the business and in mid 2022 appointed a new CEO, Dr Gerald Bailey, with company founder, Mr. Gordon LeBlanc, continuing as Chairman. The company also strengthened its balance sheet with the recapitalization of $15 million in stock purchase agreements and debt conversion agreements.
The culmination of this restructuring program was the announcement by the Board in July 2022 of the company's largest exploration and development program to date.
From the outset PetroSun has endeavored to secure collective assignments of oil and gas mineral rights from owners. The objective is to operate from the lowest cost base and to target resources which might otherwise not be viable.
In addition, PetroSun has continuously conducted research and investment into technologies that separate and refine helium at the wellhead. The objective is to deliver molecules directly to customers. This avoids investment in miles of expensive pipelines, cuts out the middleman and means the company can benefit from end-use pricing.
These objectives are facilitated by a vertically-integrated business model that has been setup and refined over two decades, enhanced by a forward looking mindset central to the company's DNA.
PetroSun is now positioned to take advantage of its key success factors: access to extremely rich helium reserves; efficient gas separation technology; and end-user distribution capabilities.
As PetroSun moves towards its revenue generating phase it's exciting to acknowledge the favorable conditions that underpins the company's prospects: US legislation that encourages private helium development, growing worldwide demand for helium, lithium and natural gas with constrained supply, and few countries able to reliably provide helium to the global marketplace.