So … What’s Up with Helium?


It’s in short supply – right? That, in any case, is the news that’s been promulgnated in recent years. With only a handful of studies as evidence, it was inferred that the international supply of helium (He) is being drained at a frightful rate and will soon be gone. (Well, yeah, that could take a couple of centuries or so, but why mark time until things get desperate, eh?)

We’re not here to insist that there’s no such thing as a global helium shortage; some evidence bears out the conviction. We are here, though, to assure you that AOC Mexico S.A. de C.V. in Mexico and the PurityPlus® partner network of more than 150 specialty gas producers and distributors at 600 loctions coast to coast are more than able to fulfill your helium needs well into the future. We’re also intent on spreading some positive news about the world’s helium reserves. The reality is that you’ve no reason to fret that there isn’t adequate helium for your professional needs. Take it from us; you’ll have a wealth of it to facilitate each analytical task you typically perform, be it in the sphere of gas chromatography, spectroscopy, or mass spectrometry. The helium so imperative for the operation of MRI scanners, for the manufacture of semiconductors and superconductors, for all manner of space industry applications, and for hi-tech firms doing nuclear research is immediately available – and will continue to be – from AOC Mexico S.A. de C.V..

The good news about global helium reserves is that there are undoubtedly more of them than we once recognized existed. According to more-recent studies:

  • A few geological regions have shown groundwater bearing huge volumes of helium into natural gas fields and trapping it there.
  • Deep helium, let loose in the creation of mountain ranges like the Rockies, has trickled via groundwater into underground|]111] reservoirs where natural gas is found too.
  • In places of volcanic activity, plenty of heat is produced in seismic turbulence to release helium from common gas-trapping rock formations deeper underground into reservoirs nearer to the earth’s surface. Obviously, it’s easier to access there – unless it’s too close to a volcano, which would make its removal tricky.

What these findings indicate is that, 1) we’ve long underestimated how much helium is truly available to us, and 2) understanding how helium gets trapped in the natural reservoirs we know about is showing us where to prospect for new helium resources.

Nevertheless, there are some who contend that a helium crisis isn’t upon us, that helium is constantly produced in nature, and just liquifying more natural gas would enable us to extract higher quantities of helium from it. It’s true that helium is extracted from natural gas via condensation. But the equipment one needs to do it has so far remained expensive. This has kept helium extraction from liquified natural gas (LNG) at a minimum. As equipment prices go down, however, more helium extraction kits can be added to wells, making it possible for us to trap more of this noble gas before it would otherwise be burned up.

So, as we said earlier, don’t [fret|worry|despair|freak out]173]. We do have practical options for getting hold of more helium. And you can bank on AOC Mexico S.A. de C.V. here in Mexico to have the helium you need – whether as a coolant, a pressurizer, or a cleaning agent – whenever and wherever you need it.