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Helium Development

Helium

Helium is widely used in medical equipment such as MRI, aerospace and precision machinery. A global shortage of Helium spurred a new wave of exploration in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin.

A Growing Market

The crude helium market is estimated at 10 billion $ per year and consumption is  6 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per year, with a 10% yearly growth. The price of crude helium grew 135%, from $119/Mcf in 2018 to $280/Mcf in 2019.

The US federal Helium reserve in Amarillo, TX, managed by the US Bureau of Land Management, sold helium to the industry since 1996, but it ceased public sale of the gas in 2019.

Deposits in WCSB

Helium is a by-product of radioactive decay of heavy elements found in the metamorphic basement, and can be found in accumulations at the base of sedimentary basins, often associated with other inert gases such as nitrogen or carbon dioxide, or in association with natural gas. The Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin has known accumulations of gas containing 0.5 to 2.5% Helium by volume. Exploration for the noble gas is underway in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Helium is currently produced and refined in Southern Saskatchewan.

Canadian Helium Operators

Chinook Services

Chinook Energies

Chinook Consulting assists Helium operators with the same suite of services catered to the oil and gas industry:

Chinook is a member of several organizations with a focus on clean technology and alternative resources: CanGEA, Geothermal Canada, CSPG, CGEF

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Author:
Calin Dragoie

Posted On:
July 5, 2021

Category:
Geoscience, Posts