Ladder Creek Plant


Tumbleweed Midstream, LLC is a privately held company focused on extracting helium from natural gas at the Ladder Creek Helium Plant in Cheyenne Wells, Colorado. 

The company was created for the express purpose of acquiring the Ladder Creek Helium Plant and Gathering System from DCP Midstream. Tumbleweed closed on the acquisition of the Ladder Creek assets in December 2019.

Why Helium?

Helium is a clean, harmless, inert gas that is made by nature deep within the earth. Unless it is captured, helium usually migrates to the surface and escapes harmlessly into the atmosphere. 

Helium is utilized in cryogenics, medical MRI machines, welding, deep sea diving, the manufacture of fiber optic cables and semiconductors, and for retail sales of helium-filled balloons.

Today there is a significant shortfall in the world’s supply of helium. Global supply is 10 to 15 percent short of meeting annual demand. 

Replacing the shortfall can only come from the development of new helium resources. However, locations where helium occurs in economic concentrations in natural gas are extremely limited.

The Ladder Creek Plant is Strategically Located to Serve Helium Production in Eastern Colorado and Western Kansas.

Helium is trapped in the natural rock formations found in the area near Cheyenne Wells, Colorado, the location of the Ladder Creek Helium Plant. There is a large concentration of rare helium reserves within a limited footprint near the Colorado-Kansas border, where natural gas producers can drill relatively inexpensive vertical wells to produce helium with the natural gas at the wellhead. Tumbleweed’s Ladder Creek Gathering System delivers helium-rich natural gas to the Ladder Creek Helium Plant where it is separated from natural gas and natural gas liquids, purified and cryogenically cooled into liquid form for shipment to buyers.
Learn more about the Ladder Creek System »

Helium Tolling is Available at Ladder Creek.

In addition to extraction and liquefaction of raw helium from wellhead gas, Tumbleweed offers producers who separate gaseous helium from their own gas stream the opportunity to use the helium tolling service at the Ladder Creek plant. Producers who aren’t tied in to the Ladder Creek gathering system may truck their helium to the plant in gaseous form, and Tumbleweed will purify it to end user specifications and supercool it to liquid form for transport to market.

Helium Lifts Natural Gas Prices.

Helium delivers a significant uplift to the value of wellhead natural gas paid to producers.

The helium supply shortage that has persisted over the past few years has caused purified liquid helium to sell for prices nearly ten times those of years past. This represents a tremendous opportunity for producers to maximize returns from the helium-rich natural gas present in the western Kansas/eastern Colorado area.

Because of the high value of helium in this area, Tumbleweed provides area producers with much higher economic returns for helium-rich natural gas shipped to the Ladder Creek Helium Plant on our gathering system. 

Tumbleweed Midstream seeks to expand inputs from our existing natural gas producers and bring in new customers to help us grow the liquefied helium output of the Ladder Creek processing plant to its full capacity of 1.5 million cubic feet per day.