The helium resources of the world by country. 

The helium resources of the world by country. 

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Article
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The future availability of helium has been raised as an issue in the literature. However, a disaggregated projection of helium production has not been attempted, presumably due to the difficult nature of accessing disaggregated historic production data to test the accuracy of this issue. This paper presents collated and estimated historic helium pr...

Citations

... Commercial helium production from 2010 to 2014 was 5-8 × 10 9 mol yr −1 (refs. 4,19 ), thus accounting for only 9-15% of the observed helium trend. ...
Article
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Fossil fuels contain small amounts of helium, which are co-released into the atmosphere together with carbon dioxide. However, a clear build-up of helium in the atmosphere has not previously been detected. Using a high-precision mass spectrometry technique to determine the atmospheric ratio of helium-4 to nitrogen, we show that helium-4 concentrations have increased significantly over the past five decades. Obtaining a direct measure of the rise in atmospheric helium-4 is possible because changes in nitrogen are negligible. Using 46 air samples acquired between 1974 and 2020, we find that the helium-4 concentration increased at an average rate of 39 ± 3 billion mol per year (2σ). Given that previous observations have shown that the ratio between helium-3 and helium-4 in the atmosphere has remained constant, our results also imply that the concentration of helium-3 is increasing. The inferred rise in atmospheric helium-3 greatly exceeds estimates of anthropogenic emissions from natural gas, nuclear weapons and nuclear power generation, suggesting potential problems with previous isotope measurements or an incorrect assessment of known sources. Mass spectrometry measurements show that the concentration of helium in the atmosphere has risen over the past five decades due to fossil fuel emissions.
... Currently, 29 % of the global helium supply is consumed by cryogenics and superconductivity users 2 . Among various applications, 20 % of helium supply is used for MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scanners 3 . In the future, a large amount of helium will be required for nuclear fusion power plants 4 . ...
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In this research, the membrane separation process was used to separate helium from methane gas. In order to do this, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) was used, and the effect of process parameters on the performance of the membrane separation process was studied by this method. To simulate the hydrodynamics of flow in the channel, the Navier-Stokes equation was used, and the Maxwell-Stefan equation was applied to simulate the mass transfer phenomenon. In addition, Fick’s law was utilized to simulate mass transfer in the membrane domain. The impacts of significant parameters such as feed pressure, feed flow rate, and feed concentration on parameters such as He/CH4 separation factor, methane and helium membrane flux and helium mole fraction in permeate stream were studied. The results of the simulation indicated that the feed pressure of 10 bar, feed flow rate of 120 cm3 min–1, and feed mole fraction of 0.0254 had the best membrane performance in He/CH4 separation.
... (Mohr and Evans 2013;Mohr et al. 2012;Mohr and Ward 2014;Northey et al. 2014;Mohr et al. 2018Mohr et al. , 2015b ...
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Detailed projections of the Former Soviet Union (FSU) fossil fuel production has been created. Russian production has been modelled at the region (oblast) level where possible. The projections were made using the Geologic Resource Supply-Demand Model (GeRS-DeMo). Low, Best Guess and High scenarios were created. FSU fossil fuels are projected to peak between 2027 and 2087 with the range due to spread of Ultimately Recoverable Resources (URR) values used. The Best Guess (BG) scenario anticipates FSU will peak in 2087 with production over 170 EJ per year. The FSU projections were combined with rest of the world projections (Mohr et al. 2015b), the emissions from the High scenario for the world are similar to the IPCC A1 AIM scenario. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s40789-021-00449-x.
... In this case, the separation process must be carried out at very low temperatures, usually below 2.18 K. World helium production in 2014 was around 20,000 tonnes per year with the average He3 concentration of 0.2 ppm-this could have resulted in around 2 kg He3 per year. The global He3 production from the decay of tritium is around 20 kg [7]. Additionally, new sources of helium are constantly being discovered, e.g., in Australia, New Zealand [8,9]. ...
Article
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Helium is the second most abundant element in the Universe after hydrogen. Considerable resources of helium-3 isotope (He3) are located mostly outside the Earth. He3 is very important for science and industry, especially for airport neutron detectors, lung tomography and helium dilution refrigerators. Besides, global warming is forcing the industry and governments to search for alternative energy sources, and He3 has the potential to be used as fuel in future nuclear fusion power plants. Unfortunately, the price of gaseous He3 has recently increased from $200 per liter to over $2750. The expected further increase in price and demands led us to present an analysis of the economic profitability for He3 separation process, which utilizes the properties of superfluid helium. This paper shows the arguments supporting the idea that extraction from natural sources is the only economically viable way of obtaining He3 isotope nowadays. The method could be relatively easily implemented into the production cycles of the low temperature natural gas purification plant.
... The entry of this large volume of helium into the world market can immediately affect prices and cause negative market conditions [15][16][17]. Thus, even in economic terms, it becomes necessary to organize a system for the long-term storage of helium. ...
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The article reviews the problem of effective development of helium resources of East Siberian oil and gas fields in the medium and long potential. It is noted that porous deposits of a gas field of small reserves appear to be the cheapest and the most reliable choice for the organization of underground helium concentrate storage (UHCS). In the medium term, it is proposed to consider the Otradninskoye gas condensate field (GCF), which is located in close proximity of the gas pipeline “Power of Siberia”. In the long term, the need to survey for a promising structure for the organization of UHCS is indicated. The basic requirements for the prospective structure are indicated by location, lithological section and by features of its development. As an example for the organization of UHCS, the Nizhne-Dzherba structure of the Predpatom trough is considered
... Helium (He) has remarkable applications in fundamental science and modern technologies involving space technologies, atomic energy, defence applications, medical appliances (MRI technology), laser technology (He-Ne laser), and superconductivity (as a refrigerant) as well as in many advanced researches including nuclear technology, magneto hydrodynamics studies, and behaviour of materials at very low temperatures (Chaudhuri et al. 2010). However, recently, a serious global crisis of He has been anticipated as reported by Mohr and Ward (2014), Bradshaw andHamacher (2013), Nuttall et al. 2012), and Kaplan (2007). This circumstance may put a fast-developing country like India in a catastrophic situation for smoothly carrying out He-based science and technology (R&D) programme. ...
Article
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Helium (He) is the only rare gas that has wide applications in the field of science and modern technologies. In India, consumption of He is large around 2.3% of the global He consumption. But, as of now, there is no commercial He plant in India. He is conventionally recovered from natural petroleum gas; however, Indian natural gas deposits are lean in He. But the fascinating fact is that Indian geothermal systems are rich in He. Therefore, present paper focusses on the recovery of He from geothermal systems through an unconventional approach. It is notable that no attempt has been made so far to make India self-reliant on He production. With a view to prepare a clear synopsis on He potential of India, a detailed survey on He scenario of Indian geothermal resources along with their temperature profiles was done in the present work by assembling the data recorded by several researchers in the past few decades. The heat-He coherence phenomenon was observed in Indian geothermal provinces by applying statistical techniques on the recorded temperature-He data set. It was observed that some of Indian hot springs could be well utilized for both He extraction in large scale as well as setting up geothermal power plant. The present work that invokes Bakreswar-Tantloi and Tattapani geothermal area (under the Sonata geothermal province) appears to be the most suitable area for the installation of a commercial He recovery plant along with geothermal power plant.
... Here, we aim to constrain temporal variation of R AIR that could be related to the beginning of the commercial helium production in 1921 ( Mohr and Ward, 2014). To do so, we used large amounts of air trapped in stainless steel materials insuring good preservation of helium over time since 1910. ...
... production from NG has been estimated to be ~954 kilotons over a 79-year span (1935-2014; U.S. Geological Survey, 2014) or ~789 kilotons over a 91-year span (19212012Mohr and Ward, 2014). Assuming that NG helium is purely radiogenic, these amounts would correspond to ~2.0-2.4 × 10 11 moles of 4 He. ...
... Assuming that NG helium is purely radiogenic, these amounts would correspond to ~2.0-2.4 × 10 11 moles of 4 He. If such helium was globally released and homogenised in the atmosphere ( 4 He atmospheric inventory: 9.3 × 10 14 mol), the R AIR could have decreased by ~0.22 ‰ ( 19212012Mohr and Ward, 2014;Mabry et al., 2015 [1945][1946][1947][1948][1949][1950][1951][1952][1953][1954][1955][1956][1957][1958][1959][1960][1961][1962][1963], the natural tritium background of ~ 3.6 kg has been upset by the input of ~560 kg of tritium from weapon tests in the atmosphere ( Guétat et al., 2008). By 2008, only 40 kg of anthropogenic 3 H remained in the environment, indicating that ~520 kg of 3 H has decayed in ~1.7 × 10 5 mol of 3 He. ...
Article
The atmospheric helium isotope composition (RA= 3He/4Heair = 1.39 × 10-6) could have varied over recent times due to anthropogenic activities. In order to check this possibility, we conducted high-precision helium isotope measurements of air trapped in various stainless steel containers from France (pétanque balls, a float carburettor; 1910–2016) and Cape Grim, Tasmania (archived air tanks; 1978, 1988). We used a double collector mass spectrometer at the Centre de Recherches Pétrographiques et Géochimiques (CRPG, Nancy, France). We found a similar composition between the French and Cape Grim air samples. The temporal variation estimated from all samples including data previously published is not significant, with a trend of +0.002 ± 0.024 ‰/yr over 106 years (2σ). We suspect that the release of radiogenic 4He by fossil fuel exploitation could have been at least partly offset by the production of 3He (via the decay of 3H) from nuclear tests. This study supports the suitability of atmospheric helium as an inter-laboratory isotope standard.
... Recently, Massol and Rifaat (2016) noted that more empirical work on helium economics is still much needed and that there is a severe lack of applied theoretical work and other economic studies of the global helium market. With respect to resources and production, Mohr and Ward (2014) argued that more accurate projections of the future availability of helium supplies are needed. The 2013 HSA directed the BLM, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and other entities to complete a national assessment of helium resources, provide current information on the expected future availability of domestic supply, assess current and projected trends in domestic and global helium demand, and provide other updates to data and information about current and future helium resources and markets (U.S. Government Printing Office 2013; Brennan et al. 2017). ...
... In addition, Tietenberg (2003) noted that the level of potential helium reserves crucially depends on how much of it can be expected to be stored (instead of vented). Whether helium destined to be vented is accounted for in reserves estimates or not, the lack of consequences for helium venting and the limited availability of long-term helium storage to (potential) producers are important issues to consider in order to project the future availability of helium (Mohr and Ward 2014). ...
Article
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In 2017, disruptions in the global supply of helium reminded consumers, distributors, and policy makers that the global helium supply chain lacks flexibility, and that attempts to increase production from the U.S. Federal Helium Reserve (the FHR) may not be able to compensate for the loss of one of the few major producers in the world. Issues with U.S. and global markets for helium include inelastic demand, economic availability of helium only as a byproduct, only 4–5 major producers, helium’s propensity to escape earth’s crust, an ongoing absence of storage facilities comparable to the FHR, and a lack of consequences for the venting of helium. The complex combination of these economic, physical, and regulatory issues is unique to helium, and determining helium’s practical availability goes far beyond estimating the technically accessible volume of underground resources. Although most of these issues have been analyzed since helium was recognized to be a valuable mineral commodity in the early 1900s, very few economic models have been developed that adequately consider the unique characteristics of helium and helium markets. In particular, there is a notable lack of recent empirical work to estimate the responsiveness of helium demand, supply, prices, and trade patterns to the ongoing drawdown and sale of helium reserves stored in the FHR. In general, existing models of helium either do not account for an oligopoly controlling supply, or they do not evaluate potential helium extraction and storage programs based on an intertemporal maximization of the value of the resource. Such models could be of very limited use to decision makers. This review found only one working paper with a helium market model that has incorporated both of these vital considerations. That and other economic studies along similar lines could be very useful in helping inform current helium policy discussions and decisions.
... La production mondiale d'hélium a été réévaluée au cours des dernières années par quelques auteurs (U.S. Geological Survey, 2014 ; Mohr et Ward, 2014). Ces auteurs ont compilé les données de production en hélium pour plusieurs pays, se concentrant toutefois sur les États-Unis. ...
... essais nucléaires aériens), encourage les entreprises privées à stocker d'énormes quantités d'hélium dans la réserve souterraine de Cliffside (Texas), crée en 1925(Godfrin et Gianèse, 2014). La production en hélium au cours de cette période fut ainsi particulièrement élevée.Entre 1921 et 2012, la production d'hélium à partir de puits dédiés à son extraction et comme sous-produits des gaz naturels à travers le monde a été évaluée à ~ 2 × 10 11 moles(Mohr et Ward, 2014). Cette production mondiale est similaire à celle estimée par Kelly et al.,(2016) à partir des données collectées par le U.S. Geological Survey en 2014 (USGS), de 2.31 × 10 11 moles entre 1935 et 2013 (Kelly et al., 2016 ; Fig. 3.3). ...
Thesis
Le rapport isotopique de l'hélium atmosphérique (RA = 3He/4He = 1.39 × 10-6) est lié aux flux naturels et anthropiques de 3He et de 4He en provenance de la Terre (et de l'espace pour 3He). Les activités industrielles ont émis des gaz riches en 4He radiogénique (exploitation des combustibles fossiles) et en 3He (activités nucléaires). Du fait de ces flux d'hélium, il a été proposé que le rapport 3He/4He dans l'air a varié dans le temps et dans l'espace. De telles variations pourraient permettre l'utilisation de ce rapport comme nouveau traceur des émissions atmosphériques de polluants anthropiques et/ou naturelles. Pour vérifier ces possibilités, nous avons entrepris la mesure haute-précision (2-6‰, 2σ) de la composition isotopique de l'hélium atmosphérique au Centre de Recherches Pétrographiques et Géochimiques (Université de Lorraine et Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy, France). Nous avons effectué des analyses d'intercalation avec un spectromètre de masse double collecteur (Helix Split Flight Tube de la société Thermo Instruments). Au cours de ces analyses, plusieurs analyses individuelles d'un échantillon d'air sont effectuées en alternance avec un standard d'air. Nous n’avons détecté aucune évidence de variation temporelle du rapport 3He/4He dans l’air de France piégé dans des boules de pétanque (1965, 1990, 2010, 2013), dans des réservoirs métalliques (2010, 2016) et dans un carburateur de voiture (1910). Nous avons également re-analysé des échantillons d'air ancien prélevés dans des réservoirs métalliques depuis 1978 à Cape Grim (Tasmanie, Australie). En incluant les mesures de Mabry et al. (2015) pour certains de ces réservoirs, nous obtenons une tendance commune de -0.05 ± 2.46 ‰, montrant l'absence de variation statistiquement significative sur une période de 106 ans. Au niveau mondial, nous avons seulement détecté deux échantillons d’air sur seize (Dôme C, Antarctique; Tokyo, Japon) dont les compositions sont statistiquement distinctes, marquées par des excès en 3He de 2.0 ± 1.4 ‰, et 1.7 ± 1.5 ‰, respectivement (intervalle de confiance de 95%). Ces excès pourraient être liés aux flux d’hélium locaux par : (i) les précipitations aurorales en Antarctique ; (ii) les volcans et/ou les déchets nucléaires (Fukushima Daï-Ichi) au Japon. Dans la région de l’Afar (Éthiopie), nous avons détecté des excès en 3He de ~1 % au-dessus du lac de lave du volcan Erta Ale, pouvant être utilisés pour tracer des gaz réactifs (e.g. CO2) simultanément émis. Ces excès sont toutefois rapidement dilués dans les masses d’air régionales. L'isolation des gaz libérés par le sol du cratère de l'Erta Ale à l'aide d'un contenant inversé placé à sa surface a permis d'évaluer les flux diffusifs en 3He (via l'augmentation du rapport 3He/4He dans l'air isolé) et en CO2. Globalement, cette thèse conforte l’utilisation de RA comme standard inter-laboratoire. Dans certaines régions (Dôme C, Japon), une investigation plus poussée dans le temps devrait être effectuée pour contraindre les sources d’hélium atmosphérique pouvant engendrer de faibles variations locales
... When liquefying natural gas, the non-liquefied part of the gas consists of different impurities including nitrogen and helium. (Mohr & Ward, 2014) The impurities are removed with molecular sieves or liquefaction processes, and after that the pure helium gas is liquefied. The boiling point of helium is 4.22 K (-268.93°C). ...
Conference Paper
Helium is one of the best shielding gases or their partial components to protect and boost automated welding processes. The right shielding gas composition creates many advantages. Helium, however, has been considered expensive and difficult to get. This study evaluates helium availability in both short and long term, its cost structure, recovery and recycle options, as well as its positive effects on welding processes with different materials and varying gas blends. The study consists of a review of scientific articles, interviews with specialists in different companies, a review of presentations and experiments.