Helium Gas Hire

Each year the world uses 6.2 billion cubic feet of helium to inflate giant balloons and other items like party balloons. But a few companies control most of the world’s helium supply. This oligopoly of industrial gas suppliers has a tight grip on the market and can manipulate prices, especially during shortages.

Helium gas hire, which is lighter than air, comes from the extraction of natural gas. The helium is separated from the rest of the gas in an expensive and energy-consuming process. The helium industry rides fossil fuels’ coattails, and when oil prices spike the price of helium rises along with it.

Up in the Air: Helium Gas Hire for Your Needs

In the 2000s, helium was relatively cheap and widely available. It’s found naturally in the environment, but the helium industry depends on a handful of large refineries to extract it and sell it. Some helium is also extracted from the air, but it’s hard to do efficiently and affordably. That’s why the U.S. government’s National Helium Reserve in Texas was so important, supplying enough of the precious gas to fill a million weather balloons or the balloons used in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The federal government recently sold the reserve’s pipelines and helium to the industrial gas company Messer. However, the sale doesn’t include the federal’s specialized helium enrichment system, which must be kept running in order to produce medical-grade helium for MRI machines.

One development that could end Helium Shortage 4.0 is Russia’s state-owned Amur project in eastern Siberia. It’s expected to restart production soon, but war in Ukraine and sanctions have delayed the timeline.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *