Holbrook Basin
The best location for helium exploration and production in the United States.
The Holbrook Basin contains some of the highest concentrations of helium in the world (see our prospects below). Helium exploration and production in the Holbrook Basin dates back to the 1950s. PetroSun has held leases in the area since the early 2000s and founding members of the company drilled their first well in Apache County in 1995. We know the area inside out, understand the geology better than anyone and the potential it has to offer up.
Lease Acres
310,100 acres in Apache, Navajo and Coconino counties
Target Formations
Permian Supai. Pennsylvanian Naco and Devonian Martin
Primary Objective
Secondary Objectives
Natural Gas, Crude Oil
Zones range from 800 feet to basement rock at about 4000 feet
Helium concentration average above 5%, up to 9%
Typically above 80% working interest
Development Program
Up to six additional exploratory wells in addition to completion of existing wells
menu_open Geology

The Holbrook Basin is a relatively shallow Permian salt basin extending to depths of approximately four thousand feet. Beneath the Permian are other prolific producing zones in the Paleozoic. The Pennsylvanian, Mississippian and Devonian are all productive within Paleozoic formations and are continuously present from the Paradox Basin in the northern Apache County across the Black Mesa Basin to the Holbrook Basin and on to the Permian Basin.

Consequently, the Holbrook Basin has the potential to produce from multiple formations with excellent reservoir quality. It has a history of prolific production with shows of oil and natural gas in addition to helium.

pin_drop Prospects

The Holbrook Basin is located in the eastern and central area of Arizona on the Colorado Plateau. PetroSun holds leases in Navajo, Apache and Coconino Counties where helium has been proven to exist over part of the south west flank of the defiance uplift, commonly within nitrogen and C02 deposits.

The Permian Coconino sandstone and the Supai group are the primary targets due to the porous and permeable characteristics of these formations in the Holbrook Basin.

PetroSun's exploratory activities from 2005 through 2019 produced samples that regularly averaged 6% in helium content. Additionaly, stratigraphic mineral test wells that have been drilled in the Concho Dome complex have encountered significant shows of oil and natural gas.

County Acres
Navajo 218,379
Coconino 21,191
Apache 70,753
Total 310,323
Manuel Seep
Permit 1216 (API 02-001-20506)
Primary Helium
Secondary Natural Gas, Oil
Formation Permian Supai, Pennsylvanian Naco and Devonian Martin

The Manuel Seep anticlinal structure is located in the Concho Dome complex in Apache County and is the highest point in the Holbrook Basin.

The Arizona Oil & Gas Conservation Commission has issued PetroSun with two drilling permits on the Manuel Seep prospect.

The primary objective of the MS 2-1 will be the helium potential of the Permian Supai to a depth sufficient to test select helium bearing zones identified by PetroSun in previous wells drilled within the Holbrook Basin. Secondary objectives will be the oil, natural gas and helium potential of the Pennsylvanian Naco and Devonian Martin.

Oil Potential

Oil was encountered in the Permian Supai dolomites in the potash wells between Concho Dome and Manuel Seep. Since the Manuel Seep is along the edge of the Upper Supai Salt Basin it is expected that reefs, beaches and sandbars may all contain oil and natural gas. Based on Devonian oil production in the Lisbon and Walker Creek Fields (AZ), the oil reserve potential of the Manuel Seep, with 172 locations on 80 acre spacing, could be of enormous magnitude.

Concho Dome
Permit 1215 (API 02-001-20505)
Primary Helium
Secondary Natural Gas, Oil
Contingent Reserves 2.29 bcfe
Helium Concentration Average 6%
Formation Permian, Pennsylvanian and/or Devonian formations
Well 16-1

To date, PetroSun has drilled two test wells (AEP 16-1 and AEP 17-1) on 4,000 lease acres on the Concho Dome.

The wells are prospective for helium in up to thirteen potential helium bearing Permian zones that petroSun identified in previous exploratory activities. The wells also hold potential for crude oil in the Pennsylvanian and Devonian zones below 2,000 feet to basement.

MHA Petroleum Consultants of Denver, Colorado conducted tests on seven gas samples that showed helium concentrations ranging from 5.24% to 6.39%. In 2017 MHA performed a resource evaluation on AEP 16-1 and reported contingent helium resources to be 2.29Bcf in select zones.

The 16-1 and 17-1 wells are currently shut-in. The helium is contained in zones located below 800 feet of salt that provides a seal and prevents the helium from escaping to the surface.

East Taylor Anticline
Primary Helium
Secondary Natural Gas, Oil
Formation Permian Supai

PetroSun has acquired 5,426 acres of oil, gas and helium leases on the East Taylor Anticline located in Apache and Navajo counties in the Holbrook Basin of Arizona. The East Taylor Anticline is located approximately five miles to the southwest of the Manuel Seep Anticline.

PetroSun plans to drill a minimum of two wells to develop helium reserves. The spudding of the initial development well will follow the completion of the Manuel Seep 2-1 once the permit has been issued by the Arizona Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

Oil Potential

Previous drilling activity in the East Taylor Anticline had oil shows in the Permian Supai. An oil and gas test south of St. Johns flowed water at the rate of 700 gallons per minute (24,000 barrels per day) from a sand in the Permian Supai. We therefore expect the Permian Supai to have the potential for prolific production rates from the sands, as well as the vugular dolomites.

Navajo Anticline
Permit 1217 (API 02-001-20507)
Primary Helium
Secondary Natural Gas, Oil
Formation Permian Coconino sandstone, Triassic Shinarump conglomerates

The Navajo Anticline is a massive undeveloped anticline located a few miles north of the Pinta Dome, Navajo Springs and East Navajo Springs helium fields.

These helium fields were discovered by Kerr- McGee and select zones were produced and processed during the 1960's and 1970's. However the field was never fully developed, due in part to various “land swap” dealing between the State of Arizona, private owners, and the Navajo Nation.

PetroSun has acquired two drilling permits from the Arizona Oil & Gas Conservation Commission to develop this field. The primary target will be the Permian Coconino sandstone that produced commercial helium in the Kerr McGee helium fields. The secondary helium objective will be the Triassic Shinarump Conglomerate.

Chambers Anticline
Primary Helium
Secondary Natural Gas, Oil
Formation Permian Supai

PetroSun has acquired 3,860.1 acres of oil, gas and helium leases on the Chambers Anticline located in the Holbrook Basin of Apache County, Arizona. The Chambers Anticline is located approximately twelve miles east of the Pinta Dome Helium Field.

PetroSun has plans to re-permit and drill the 32-1 helium development well on one of the six leases acquired. We will utilize a company owned drilling rig subject to the timely issuance of the drilling permit by the Arizona Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

settings_suggest Development

PetroSun has slated up to six additional helium development and exploration wells to be drilled within its Holbrook Basin leases.

The program will focus initial completion efforts on AEP 16-1 and AEP 17-1 to prove-up helium reserves in additional zones. This will be followed by drilling AEP 2-1 to test the Manuel Seep structure and to confirm total gas concentrations required for the final calibration of a helium processing plant.

We also plan to drill a minimum of two wells to develop the proved-undeveloped helium reserves located within the East Taylor and Chambers Anticlines. The Navajo Anticline is another later target.

If the program is successful PetroSun will construct the Oso Draw Helium Plant for the extraction and processing of up to 240 million standard cubic feet of liquid helium per year.
Supply Agreements
PetroSun has already executed a Liquid Helium Supply Agreement with a large gas corporation subject to the successful development of its Holbrook Basin helium resources and the construction and commissioning of the Oso Draw Helium Plant.
PetroSun has also acquired interest in a gas transportation and distribution company with the proposed subsidiary to base its operations near the cryogenic helium purification plant in the Holbrook Basin.