Caliche continues Beaumont operations with planned helium storage cavern


Houston – November 1, 2023 (Houston Business Journal) – North America’s largest helium storage cavern is underway in Beaumont, Texas,according to a Houston-based company that has concentrated recent operations in thearea.

Caliche Development Partners II said on Oct. 31 that construction has begun on the saltstorage cavern at Golden Triangle Storage, which is part of the Spindletop Complex. Acompany spokesperson told the Houston Business Journal that the site is expected tostore 4 million barrels of helium.

The site is expected to be completely operational in 2025, Caliche told the HBJ.Construction includes drilling of the new cavern, solutions mining of the space for thestorage, and associated surface equipment and pipeline installation.

This helium project represents the fi rst of Caliche's fi ve phases of growth at the GTS sitespurred by several local tax abatements, which the company confi rmed are withJeff erson County, the city of Beaumont, the Port of Beaumont and the Sabine NechesNavigation District. Each of the fi ve phases includes utilizing one or two of the ninepermitted cavern locations, two of which are currently providing natural gas storage.

Caliche acquired the GTS facility last year through a partnership with New York-basedOrion Infrastructure Capital and Chicago-based GCM Grosvenor Inc. (Nasdaq: GCMG),which provided capital commitments. The company also previously told the HBJ itwould acquire Central Valley Gas Storage in Colusa County, California, from affi liates ofAtlanta-based Southern Co. (NYSE: SO). The deals totaled $186 million.

The federal government has said there could be concerns about the U.S. supply ofhelium, which is used in space exploration, semiconductor manufacturing and magneticresonance imaging (MRI) machines. While the gas did not make the U.S. GeologicalSurvey’s 2022 list of critical minerals for the U.S. economy, the USGS said in January thatthe Bureau of Land Management's impending sale of the Federal Helium System, potential impacts to foreign helium production and the shift toward shale gas meanthelium production should be scrutinized.

"The GTS team brings a long history of safely storing small and valuable moleculesunderground," Caliche CEO Dave Marchese said in an Oct. 31 news release. "Between therecent restrictions by Russia and China on U.S. access to the global helium supply, andthe challenges surrounding the Federal Helium Reserve System sale, we believe GTS canhelp ensure a stable domestic supply for all critical end users."

In March 2022, Caliche sold the ethylene and helium storage caverns it developed at theSpindletop Dome in Beaumont to Dallas-based Energy Transfer LP (NYSE: ET). Calichebuilt out 5 million barrels of ethylene storage and 3 million barrels of helium storage at the 53-acre site, which is permitted for up to 59 million barrels of storage total.

Caliche has also made recent moves in carbon capture, leasing 4,000 acres near asignifi cant source of carbon emissions near Beaumont in September.

Development & Operations Contact: Darrell Hall –
Media Contact: Emily C. Walsh –