There’s a worldwide helium shortage and it’s affecting not simply celebration provide shops, however all the things from aerospace to the medical discipline.
Right now, solely three sources product about 75 p.c of the world’s helium: They’re in Qatar, Texas and Wyoming. In 2018, about 79 p.c of helium used got here from Qatar whereas 21 p.c got here from different sources, based on a report from the U.S. Geological Survey.
Helium, which is a naturally occurring fuel, is extracted from the bottom and normally comes combined with different gases — pure fuel particularly. The pure fuel in Utah, Texas, Colorado, Kansas and Wyoming is richer in helium than in different states, which is why there are extraction crops in these areas, based on the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management.
The Bureau of Land Management operates and maintains a helium storage reservoir, enrichment plant and pipeline system close to Amarillo, Texas. It provides greater than 40 p.c of home demand for the factor.
The USGS report additionally famous that 14 crops within the United States supplied about 1.four billion cubic toes of helium for home use, with about 30 p.c of that helium getting used for MRIs. Helium can be used for climate and analysis balloons, welding, fiber optics, leak detection and protection, aerospace and power applications.
But regardless of the significance of helium, the U.S. will cease distributing it by 2021, based on the bureau. The Helium Stewardship Act of 2013 established an public sale system for the sale of the nation’s federally owned helium together with all the accompanying property and gear. It must be disposed of by Sept. 30, 2021.