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The National Helium Reserve, also known as the Federal Helium Reserve, is a strategic reserve of the United States holding over 1 billion cubic meters (109 m3) of helium gas.
By 1995, a billion cubic metres of the gas had been collected, and the reserve was US$1.4 billion in debt, prompting the Congress of the United States in 1996 to phase out the reserve The resulting "Helium Privatization Act of 1996" (Public Law 104–273) directed the United States Department of the Interior to start selling off the reserve by 2005.
By 2007, the federal government was reported as auctioning off the Amarillo Helium Plant. The National Helium Reserve itself was reported as "slowly being drawn down and sold to private industry." However by early 2011, the facility was still in government hands. In May 2013, the House of Representatives voted to extend the life of the reserve under government control.
Now, a research group from Oxford and Durham universities, working with Helium One, a helium exploration company headquartered in Norway, has developed a brand new exploration approach. The first use of this method has resulted in the discovery of a world-class helium gas field in Tanzania.
Professor Chris Ballentine, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford, said: "We sampled helium gas (and nitrogen) just bubbling out of the ground in the Tanzanian East African Rift valley. By combining our understanding of helium geochemistry with seismic images of gas trapping structures, independent experts have calculated a probable resource of 54 Billion Cubic Feet (BCf) in just one part of the rift valley… To put this discovery into perspective, global consumption of helium is about 8 BCf per year and the United States Federal Helium Reserve, which is the world's largest supplier, has a current reserve of just 24.2 BCf. Total known reserves in the USA are around 153 BCf. This is a game changer for the future security of society's helium needs and similar finds in the future may not be far away."
originally posted by: AmericanRealist
a reply to: TEOTWAWKIAIFF
What about the Helium 3 on the moon?? Is this a different kind of helium?? The Helium on the moon would be a great energy supply for space development, as well as an export to Earth if the situation gets dire. I think China may beat us there though and have a big head start.
Don't forget funny voices.
Many have no idea the industries which use this gas is more than just party balloons.