AMARILLO, Texas ― Serving demand for resources that support economic activity around the nation and the world, and fulfilling the Trump Administration’s commitment to an all-of-the-above energy strategy, the Bureau of Land Management auctioned 210 million cubic feet (MMcf) of crude helium from the Federal Helium Reserve for a total of $58,700,000 in revenue, which will be deposited in the Treasury for use in funding for national programs and projects.
The helium auctioned at the recent event will be delivered starting Oct. 1, 2018.
Helium is used in the testing of rocket engines, welding, commercial diving, and production of semiconductor chips. The element’s ability to reach very low temperatures attracts many commercial and institutional users who conduct magnetic resonance imaging and other scientific applications. Other industries depend on helium’s lifting properties for operating balloon-based weather sensors and filling decorative party balloons.
The auction complies with the Helium Stewardship Act of 2013, which established an auction system for the sale of Federal helium and mandated that all property, equipment, and interest held by the United States in the Federal Helium Reserve be disposed of by Sept. 30, 2021. The BLM has conducted sales and auctions annually since 2014 and has enhanced the process based on public and stakeholder comments.
The BLM supplies crude helium to private helium refining companies which in turn refine the helium and market it to consumers. The agency is also evaluates the nation’s helium-bearing gas fields and provides responsible access to Federal land for managed recovery and disposal of helium. The BLM-operated helium storage reservoir, enrichment plant, and pipeline system near Amarillo, Texas, supplies enough helium to meet more than 40 percent of domestic demand for the gas.
For more information about the auction or the Federal Helium Program, please contact Amarillo Field Manager Samuel R.M. Burton at 806.356.1000.