Entries tagged with: Helium Shortage

Helium shortage, balloon issues carry over into new year

If you’ve been paying attention to the news cycle over the past month, you know there’s been a massive helium shortage affecting plenty of businesses. But not just the balloon business; MRIs, semiconductors, rocket engine testing and so many others also use helium, and companies are being forced to wait to restock. Stores have since increased balloon-filling costs, nearly doubling in some cases. On Cape Cod, Orleans, Massachusetts has developed a proposal banning the sale and release…  » Read more

Final Federal Helium Reserve auction: Allotment down, prices up, as Air Products dominates supply

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management held the fifth and final crude helium auction from the Federal Helium Reserve in Texas in late August. A total of 210 million cubic feet of crude helium was sold to distributors, down from 500 million last year. In turn, the price went from $119.31 per thousand cubic feet in 2018 to $279.95 this year — a rise of 135 percent, according to gasworld. The auction was held in 12 lots,…  » Read more

Reader poll: More than half having trouble getting helium

By Zeke Jennings | Managing Editor Balloon retailers are well aware of the helium market’s volatility. Demand for the gas continues to rise as its uses in the medical and scientific fields grows. Meanwhile, the U.S. government is in the process of depleting the Federal Helium Reserve in Texas, putting pressure on private distributors to find alternative sources. While there was a noticeable shortage of helium approximately five years ago, balloon retailers haven’t had too…  » Read more

Alabama TV station reports balloon retailers struggling to get helium

Birmingham, Alabama CBS affiliate WIAT is latest news outlet to document balloon businesses struggling to get to helium. The station noted a Birmingham-area Dollar Tree posted a sign that notified customers it was out of helium. In addition, BoBalloons owner Jessica Zillman told WIAT that she too is struggling to get enough to meet demands. Last week, an Atlanta news outlet also reported helium shortages among some area balloon retailers.

Helium shortages reported by Atlanta-area party stores

Helium is in short supply in the Atlanta area, reports WSB-TV, and perhaps elsewhere. WSB’s Berndt Peterson interviewed Party America Acworth owner Michelle Chambers, who said she’s been struggling to get enough to helium to meet demand. Chambers added supply issues are directly related to last year’s Saudi Arabia-led embargo of Qatar — the second-largest producer of helium in the world. Supply lines being off in Texas are complicating things, as well. Check out the full…  » Read more

Helium recyclable? Yes, it is

Did you know helium is recyclable? There are numerous companies that produce helium recovery systems. It’s a growing trend among universities that use helium for scientific research to invest in said systems — the University of Arkansas being the latest — which essentially takes them out of the helium consumption market. They’re not cheap — Arkansas’ was $250,000 — but since the university was spending $40,000 on helium each year, it expects to recoup the funds fairly quickly. Such…  » Read more

Government announces plans for final Federal Helium Reserve auction

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is holding its annual auction for helium from the Federal Helium Reserve this summer. This one is a little different, however. It’s the last one. The Federal Helium Reserve has reached its minimum inventory level specified by the Helium Stewardship Act of 2013, which outlined a plan to deplete the reserve and get the federal government out of the helium mining business. There are expected to be fewer…  » Read more

Private helium distributors facing pressure as scientific demand for gas continues to rise

Increased demand for helium for scientific use, including by NASA, is putting further pressure on private distributors to meet demands for the natural gas. Samuel Burton, the field manager for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s helium reserves, recently told Chemical & Engineering News, that the bureau “is seeing increased demand by federal agencies,” NASA included, and added those agencies will be served first in terms of helium allocation. The Federal Helium Reserve is expected…  » Read more

Some global helium suppliers tightening up allotment to customers

Major global helium suppliers are starting to take a cautious approach as to how much of the gas they sell to smaller distributors. Rob Cockerill of gasworld reports that at least two major suppliers are allocating supply in some regions to 100 percent of their customers’ historical consumption. The reasoning is to prevent stockpiling in lieu of the depletion of the U.S. Helium Reserve, which is slated to occur in approximately two years, Cockerill added.…  » Read more

Helium experts: Demand for gas will increase 9% over next three years

Canada NewsWire Bruin Point Helium Corp. (the "Company" or "Bruin Point") (TSX Venture: BPX), Mr. Frank Jacobs, CEO, is pleased to provide an overview of the helium industry as well as forecast targets made by industry analysts and experts. Our goal here is to offer a compilation of third-party information for shareholders and potential shareholders. The price of helium has doubled over the past decade (1) and experts predict demand for the gas will continue to grow. According to research firm, Technavio,…  » Read more

Praxair upping helium prices as much as 10 percent on Jan. 1

Praxair Inc., one of the world’s largest helium suppliers, is upping prices at the first of the year, as much as 10 percent in some regions. Praxair issued the following statement on Nov. 15. “Praxair, Inc. (NYSE: PX) is notifying bulk liquid helium customers worldwide of increases in helium prices of up to 10%, depending upon the region, effective January 1, 2018, or as contracts permit. Price adjustments may be higher or lower than this…  » Read more

European Union adds helium to Critical Raw Materials list

The European Union (EU) has added helium to its Critical Raw Materials list. The CRM list, established in 2011, currently has 27 raw materials that have been deemed vital to everyday life and modern technology that are at risk for supply shortages. The goals of the EU’s Critical Raw Materials list are to: ·       Strengthen the competitiveness of European industry in line with the renewed industrial strategy for Europe. ·       Stimulate the production of CRMs by…  » Read more

Helium Extraction Act introduced to U.S. House of Representatives

The proposed Helium Extraction Act of 2017 took a step last week as it was introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives, reported the Allentown Morning Call. The act, which was introduced by California Rep. Paul Cook (R), would add two dozen words to the nearly century-old Mineral Leasing Act. Helium distributors hope the amendment will encourage domestic helium production by loosening federal land leasing requirements. An executive of one of those helium producers and distributors,…  » Read more

Federal Helium Reserve auctions off $60 million worth of helium

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) conducted its fourth annual auction of Federal crude helium at the Amarillo Field Office, under the terms of the Helium Stewardship Act (Act) of 2013. The BLM offered a total of 500 million cubic feet (MMcf) from the Federal Helium Reserve near Amarillo, representing 55 percent of the total volume the BLM will make available from the Reserve in Fiscal Year 2018. The BLM offered the Federal crude helium in…  » Read more

Helium Extraction Act of 2017 doesn’t do enough, says legal firm

Reconsidering Helium Production on Federal Lands Amid Privatization of Federal Helium Reserve By Eric Martin for Stoel Rives LLP On July 19, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) planned to auction helium stored in its Cliffside Field underground storage facility in west Texas (aka the Federal Helium Reserve). This annual auction under the Helium Stewardship Act of 2013 is part of a privatization effort that began back in 1996 and will culminate with the BLM divesting itself of that facility…  » Read more

Qatar producing helium again, but blockade still poses challenges

Qatar, one of the world’s top producers of helium, has resumed production of the gas, reports gasworld magazine. The small Middle Eastern country, which accounts for roughly 30 percent of the world’s helium supply, suspended production on June 12, a week after Saudi Arabia and other region nations cut off borders with Qatar, essentially blockading the nation. Although helium production has resumed, shipping line logistics could remain a problem, wrote Rob Cockerill of gasworld. “Sources…  » Read more

Helium distributors hope Helium Extraction Act will spur domestic production

Congress is taking steps to introduce legislation that would amend the 97-year-old Mineral Leasing Act, which proponents hope will encourage more helium production in the U.S. The Helium Extraction Act of 2017, which is still in development, would potentially add two dozen words to the Mineral Leasing Act, reported Andrew Wagaman of the Morning Call in Allentown, Pennsylvania.  The amendment would essentially loosen federal lease requirements for private companies who want to mine the gas.…  » Read more

Helium expert: Shortage ‘inevitable’ if Qatar blockade continues

A Saudi Arabian-led blockade of Qatar, which began on June 5, is close to disrupting the world’s helium supply, expert Phil Kornbluth told gasworld magazine. “It seems inevitable that world helium markets will experience at least a temporary shortage of supply, with formal supply allocations likely if the blockade is not lifted very quickly,” Kornbluth, of Kornbluth Helium Consulting, was quoted in a June 12 gasworld story. Qatar, along with the U.S. and Algeria, are…  » Read more

Blockade of Middle Eastern country has helium producers on edge

A developing situation in the Middle East could affect anyone who depends on helium. On Monday, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain closed borders with nearby Qatar, effectively creating a blockade of the tiny country, which happens to be one of the top helium producers in the world. The situation has people in the industry on edge, reported gasworld magazine. “When spare capacity is considered, the Qatar supply accounts for around 28% of worldwide helium capacity,”…  » Read more

Researchers make “world-class” helium find in East Africa

A new technique for locating helium resulted in a huge discovery of the gas in East Africa recently. Researchers from Durham and Oxford universities in the United Kingdom, teaming with the Norway-based company, Helium One, discovered that helium is directly related to volcanic rocks. Their findings led to the discovery of a world-class helium field in Tanzania, which could hold in the neighborhood of 54 billion cubic feet of the gas. The research and subsequent…  » Read more

Tank Talk: Helium distributor addresses industry

Helium supplier addresses state of turbulent industry By Zeke Jennings | The words “helium shortage” are all too familiar to balloon retailers. Although some stabilization has occurred the past couple of years, availability and cost are still concerns going forward. The Helium Stewardship Act of 2013 was designed to boost market competition by deregulating the price of helium sold from the National Helium Reserve to private companies by implementing an auction system instead. The…  » Read more

New Qualatex Flier Designed to Boost Business with Air

In response to growing demand from balloon professionals for air-fill products and designs, Pioneer Balloon Co. has produced The Qualatex Air-fill Advantage. This 16-page flier features innovative ideas designed to help retailers retain customers, build their balloon portfolio and increase profits — without relying on helium. The pages are filled with a range of easy-to-create offerings that include cup and stick designs, 350Q designs, 646Q stand-ups, “No-Helium Here” bouquets and cash-and-carry gifts. The flier also…  » Read more