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Need Info On Helium Supply in The USA

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by Auctioneer, Sep 14, 2012.

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  1. Auctioneer

    Auctioneer Well-Known Member

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    It is my understanding that helium is going to be hard to get and expensive here in the USA. We are suppose to import helium because our supply is being taken up by someone. Does anyone here know anything about it? Thanks.
     
  2. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

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    http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=22147145
     
  3. frostyman

    frostyman Well-Known Member

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    Almost all the Helium in the world comes from the United States. We probably wasted most of it on baloons.
     
  4. mixer

    mixer Well-Known Member

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    What Great Helium Shortage?



    We’re being regaled again with stories about how the world is running out of a resource. This time it’s helium and as ever, the story is driven by people not really understanding what a resource actually is.


    The party could soon be over for the balloon industry as a global shortage of helium sends prices sky high.

    Industry experts have warned that the floating balloon could be a thing of the past by the end of the decade as demand for the gas continues to outstrip supply capabilities.

    Sounds scary, eh? The thing is there’s a confusion here between the current extraction infrastructure and the total amount of the element available to us.






    Helium is usually generated as a byproduct of natural gas mining, the shortage could also be attributed in part to the recession which has slowed natural gas production.

    The US provides 75 per cent of the six billion cubic feet of helium used worldwide every year.

    A pipeline in Texas which provided 30 per cent of the global supply was closed for maintenance in July, with a major Wyoming plant running below capacity since June.

    Production shortfalls and repairs at plants in Algeria, Poland and Australia have also hit supplies.

    It is absolutely true that prices are currently tight. That parts of the current production system are closed down and thus supplies are lower than usual. However, this is not the same as stating that we’re actually running out of the stuff. The source for the real numbers is, for an element, always the US Geological Survey. Their helium note tells us that current global consumption is around 180 million cubic metres a year. There’s something like 50 billion cubic metres lying around out there. That’s a near 300 year supply at current usage rates.

    Another way of putting this is that sure, party balloons are a bit more expensive right now but there’s no worry over whether our great great grandchildren will still be able to have them.

    Oh, and by the way, that’s before anyone has got around to trying to check the helium content of all that shale gas being fracked.
     
  5. crusha

    crusha TS Member

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    This is just a bunch of liberal hand-wringing by university research types who are pissed off that the US Government has finally figured out that dirigibles are * not * the next hot trend in aviation anymore, and is finally selling off its strategic helium reserve - basically putting helium supplies back in the hands of the private market after a near-century of being controlled tighter than gold.


    Yawn.
     
  6. willing

    willing Member

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    US control of the helium ind was the cause of the Hindenberg fire.
    We wouldn' sell helium to Germany so they used hydrogen. Helium does not burn.

    Bill
     
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