Changes in Helium
From shortage (2006/7) to balance, shortage (2011-2013) to surplus, and shortage (2018-2021) that’s been the story of the helium business over the last decade, and potentially for the year ahead too.
So, you might ask, what’s behind the title of this page? Well, while Helium shortage 3.0 was predicted to continue until at least 2021, Covid19, has slowed demand, wiping out a continuation of those shortages. Due to the closure of the US BLM reserve, (completed 2021) This has encouraged exploration for helium especially in North America, which until now was never considered as it sometimes pops up in a few LNG projects as a by-product.
The pendulum of helium demand is shifting geographically, with the Asia-Pacific region now leading the world in its demand for this unique gas. New applications are continuing to emerge whist critical industries such as Medical, Semi-Conductor, Fibre Optic Cable, Space and Defence are all critically dependent on helium as an enabler in production.
Geographic sourcing is shifting: Qatar already 27% is soon to be joined by Russia who have the potential to grow their new helium supply to 26%. These two jurisdictions would dominate global helium supply with a combined 53% of helium demand. There are now up to 20 new helium explorations, the great majority are in North America and they’re unlikely to find any significant volumes.
With substantial new estimated helium deposits in Tanzania, our independent certification of a mid-case 101 Bcf Prospective Resource in the first of 4 of our licenced Tanzanian basins gives us the potential to become a Tier One project at proof in 2023. Our current projections show that Tanzania will be one of the largest helium resources in the world.