So Whats Up with Helium?


There’s a shortage – right? That, anyway, is the news that’s been disseminated for the last few years. On the basis of select studies, it was deduced that the international supply of helium (He) is being used up at a frightful rate and will soon disapper altogether. (Well, okay, it may take several hundred years, but why mark time until things get out of hand, eh?)

We’re not prepared to tell you a global helium shortage is drivel; some evidence bears out the idea. We are prepared, though, to assure you that Fresno Oxygen & Welding Supplies/Barnes Welding Supply in Fresno and the PurityPlus® partner network of over 150 specialty gas producers and distributors at 600 loctions nationwide can easily meet your helium needs well into the future. We’re also intent on spreading a bit of positive news about the world’s helium reserves. The reality is that you’ve no reason to worry that there isn’t enough helium for your professional needs. Believe us; you’ll have a lot of it to facilitate each and every analytical task you normally perform, be it in the realm of gas chromatography, spectroscopy, or mass spectrometry. The helium so necessary for the operation of MRI scanners, for the creation of semiconductors and superconductors, for various space industry applications, and for hi-tech companies involved in nuclear research is readily available – and will remain so – from Fresno Oxygen & Welding Supplies/Barnes Welding Supply.

The positive news about global helium reserves is that there might really be more of them than we knew existed. According to more-recent studies:

  • Certain geological regions have shown groundwater carrying huge volumes of helium into natural gas fields and trapping it there.
  • Deep helium, loosed in the formation of mountain ranges such as the Rockies, has percolated via groundwater into below-ground|]111] reservoirs where natural gas is found also.
  • In areas where volcanic activity is prevalent, plenty of heat is produced in seismic disruptions to release helium from common gas-trapping rock formations deeper underground into reservoirs in closer proximity to the earth’s surface. Obviously, it’s simpler to access there – unless it’s too close to a volcano, which would make its extrication troublesome.

What these findings insinuate 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’ve discoved is disclosing where to search for new helium resources.

In spite of all this, there are some who contend that there’s no helium crisis, that helium is continually produced in nature, and simply liquifying more natural gas would permit us to get higher quantities of helium from it. Yes, helium is gotten from natural gas by means of condensation. But the equipment necessary to do it has so far remained financially daunting. This has disincentivized widespread helium extraction from liquified natural gas (LNG). As equipment prices drop, however, more helium extraction kits can be added to wells, letting us capture more of this noble gas before it would typically be burned up.

So, once more, don’t [fret|worry|despair|freak out]173]. We do have workable options for securing more helium. And you can count on Fresno Oxygen & Welding Supplies/Barnes Welding Supply here in Fresno to have the helium you need – whether as a coolant, a pressurizer, or a cleaning agent – whenever and wherever you need it.