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US Congress to Act On Helium Supply

The US Congress are acting to protect the helium supply remaining in the Texas panhandle.

As has been widely reported the Texas helium reserve, which has provided much of the world’s supply for several decades, is running down and the prices kept artificially low by government subsidies, a situation that dates back to the era when the gas was considered as a strategic commodity.

The plan had been to end production in Texas by 2015 with other sources expected to come on-line to fill demand. However, the other global sources have not yet entered production and the reduced yield from Texas has resulted in unexpected large price increases and shortages in the availability of the gas. This short-term situation has much exaggerated by scaremongering in the general media.

To help correct the situation the US House or Representatives recently passed a bill that would draw down the helium reserve through controlled sales and semi-annual auctions instead of cutting off the federal supply from the marketplace. It aims to protect the supply of existing refineries in the short term and wait until 2015 to sell off 10 percent of the reserve, increasing that percent every year.

The aim is to ensure ample supply to the market while other major production facilities in other part of the world come on line.

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