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Helium shortage ripples around the globe

MNN.com - KATY RANK LEV - June 3, 2019, 1:32 p.m. Birthday parties and grand opening celebrations are often celebrated with helium-filled balloons bobbing in the breeze, but scientists say it’s time we abandoned this wasteful practice. We are currently experiencing the third shortage in 14 years, and much more critical uses of this gas are at risk. The colorless, odorless, tasteless, nontoxic gas is primarily used to cool things, with its biggest commercial use being MRI scanners. Other critical uses of the gas include cooling infrared detectors and nuclear reactors, machinery for wind tunnels, operation of satellite equipment, and to pressurize fuel tanks for space travel. But the supply of helium is likely to get even more unpredictable soon because there are too few sources of the gas here on Earth, according to Smithsonian magazine. Ironically, helium is the second most abundant element in the universe, the majority of it created during the Big Bang. But here on Earth, it’s rare, with much of it transformed at refineries in the United States and Qatar. Read...

The Future of Helium Is Up in the Air

By Jason Daley smithsonian.com  May 20, 2019   The world is experiencing a shortage of the gas, a byproduct of natural gas production, threatening MRIs, scientific research and birthday parties Sorry to burst your balloon, but the world is currently experiencing its third major helium shortage in the last 14 years, putting more than just party decorations at risk. Heather Murphy at The New York Times reports that the shortage recently made headlines when Party City, the chain store perhaps best known for being the place to get bunches of helium balloons, announced the closure of 45 of its 870 stores. Many people, noting that recently some of the stores have been out or short of helium, blamed the low supply of the gas. Corporate headquarters, however, say the closures have nothing to do with helium shortages. Nevertheless, the story brought to light the fact that helium is currently being rationed. Helium is the second most abundant element in the entire universe. So why can’t we keep it in stock? Soo Youn at ABC News reports that here on Earth helium is kind of hard to come by. It’s created during the decay of uranium and thorium underground and is collected along with natural gas. During natural gas processing it’s then separated out into a transportable liquid form. But doing that is expensive, and it only takes place at 14 refineries in the entire world, with seven in the United States, two in Qatar, two in Algeria and one in Poland, Russia and Australia, respectively. Phil Kornbluth, a helium industry consultant, tells Murphy that currently natural gas projects that produce helium in many of...

ARE WE RUNNING OUT OF HELIUM? PRICE SURGES AS GLOBAL SUPPLIES DWINDLE

NEWSWEEK: BY DAN CANCIAN ON 5/10/19 AT 11:00 AM EDT major shortage of helium has begun to make its impact felt across a number of industries, as a combination of dwindling resources and increasing prices take their toll. The gas, one of the lightest substances in the world, can be harvested from natural underground deposits and from the production of natural gas, in which helium is a by-product. But there are currently no cost-effective ways of artificially producing the gas, which has left a host of sectors scrambling. While helium usage is widespread, its sources are relatively limited, and the U.S. has provided the lion’s share of the world’s supply for decades. According to Gasworld, more than three-quarters of the globe’s helium is produced across three different locations—Texas, Wyoming and Qatar. The U.S. will exit the helium business by the end of September 2021, as established by the Helium Stewardship Act of 2013. Also, resources in Texas have dwindled because of a combination of different factors. Helium production in the U.S. has significantly slowed down and the Bureau of Land Management has been forced to ration its supply, due to political upheaval in the Gulf States. In February last year, Saudi Arabia imposed an economic embargo on Qatar, which effectively took some 30 percent of the global supply off the market. While helium might be best known as laughing gas and for its use in balloons, it plays a crucial role in a number of different industries, from the aerospace to the medical sector. Read...

Helium’s Ballooning Price may Fly Even Higher

PALM BEACH, Florida, May 30, 2018 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — PALM BEACH, Florida, May 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Marketnewsupdates.com News Commentary  The world’s helium supply shortage has the medical industry worried. Why do they care? The fact is, nearly a quarter of the world’s helium is used for cryogenics in MRI machines. The situation has gotten so bad that doctors have actually called for a ban on party balloons to save helium for life-saving purposes. This critical shortage has caused a helium price surge to all-time highs and has drawn investor attention to gas producers like American Helium Inc.(AHE) AHELF, -13.59% , Praxair Inc. PX, -3.45% Air Products & Chemicals Inc. APD, +0.98% , Gazprom PAO OGZPY, +0.17% and United State Natural Gas Fund LP (nsye:UNG). Shortage Driving Up The Price Of Helium  Global demand for helium has risen by 10% per year over the past decade to an estimated 8 billion cubic feet. This far exceeds current supply which sits at only 5.4 billion cubic feet. This shortfall has placed an enormous strain on the price of helium, driving it up to an all-time high this year to $119 per thousand cubic feet. This represents an 11% increase over 2017. This trend is likely to continue into 2020, where the value of the helium market could exceed $1.5 billion. Read...

Oilton (Terrain 32-1) Update & Video

HEW-TEX/OILTON JOINT VENTURE TERRAIN 32-1 WELL, CREEK COUNTY, OKLAHOMA Please use the links below to watch the 2 short videos regarding the referenced well. Video #1: https://vimeo.com/user59782011/download/340286969/7d0a266e81 Video #2: https://vimeo.com/user59782011/download/340287237/46ed2e113c At 10:00 am this morning, the Terrain 32-1 well was opened up and began pumping. The well has approximately 650 barrels of frac fluid to recover, but the well began producing oil immediately upon turning on the pump. We are pumping oil and frac fluid up the tubing, but oil is also flowing up the “backside” (between the tubing and the casing). As we recover the frac fluids (9.4 lbs per gallon), it will be interesting to see how the well reacts. We have a temporary flow line unloading into a 500-barrel frac tank, and as you can see, the well is gassing quite a bit and making “heads” of fluid (oil and frac fluid) which causes the flow line to jerk. Remember, we only have the Redfork and Skinner formations open. We will add the Oswego (best looking sand by log) at some point after this initial production test. At this time, everything looks great! We will continue to keep you...

Chevron walks away from $33 billion deal to buy Anadarko

Worldoil.com - By Joe Carroll and David Wethe on 5/9/2019 HOUSTON (Bloomberg) — Chevron is abandoning its $33 billion offer for Anadarko Petroleum, the culmination of a month-long bidding war in which Occidental Petroleum Corp. prevailed over a rival five times its size. The most ambitious foray of Chevron CEO Mike Wirth’s tenure ended Thursday after the world’s third-largest oil explorer by market value elected not to sweeten an offer that fell out of favor with Anadarko directors. Chevron said it will collect a $1 billion termination fee and plans to increase its share buybacks by 25%. Anadarko’s board embraced the Occidental proposal as superior on May 6, giving Chevron up to four days to come back with a revised offer. Anadarko was looking for Chevron to match or exceed Occidental’s proposal, people familiar with the matter said Wednesday. However, Chevron indicated that topping its rival’s offer was too risky. Read more…...