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Huge helium discovery 'a life-saving find'

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posted on Jun, 28 2016 @ 11:27 AM
a reply to: pikestaff

I think that was sarcasm.

posted on Jun, 28 2016 @ 11:36 AM

originally posted by: Bedlam

originally posted by: jellyrev
LOL Barney was an inside job.

Good for helium, idk why but helium is so boring.

Without helium, you can't make Cavorite.

I had forgot about this! Thanks for the laugh! (For those that don't know...)

After two weeks Bed-ford accosts the man, who proves to be a reclusive physicist named Mr. Cavor. Bed-ford befriends Cavor when he learns he is developing a new material, cavorite, which can negate the force of gravity.

Wikipedia - The First Men in the Moon

It will be even more funny if helium does have something to do with "negating gravity"! Hum...
edit on 28-6-2016 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: tori spelling

posted on Jun, 28 2016 @ 03:35 PM
a reply to: Brotherman

Here is another use I missed: deep sea diving. It is used to replace some of the nitrogen gas in SCUBA tanks. If a straight oxygen-nitrogen mix is used there is "a narcotic effect of breathing... at depth" (same source as below). A little helium prevents that effect thereby reducing the chance of deadly errors. But it does give you the squeaky voice...

Wikipedia: Trimix

posted on Jun, 29 2016 @ 04:49 PM
a reply to: jellyrev

Superfluid helium is not very boring! In fact it may be the most interesting uses for helium. IDK, watching helium "crawl" out of its container is pretty neat as is the fountain. Even as it transitions from gas to liquid still makes me smile and think, "Gee, science is cool!"

posted on Jun, 29 2016 @ 05:01 PM
Oh look, the story hit MSM today...

CNBC, June 29, 2016 - Discovery of 'helium gas field' could deflate fears of world shortage

Heard it hear on ATS 2 days ago!

Researchers announced at the Goldschmidt geochemistry conference in Japan Tuesday that heat from volcanic activity in the African region has helped unleash trapped helium from ancient rocks, according to the Post.

(same source)

OK. It "unleash[ed] trapped helium from ancient rocks" that is close. "Ancient lava rocks" is what their 'report' stated and the helium was subsequently trapped in natural domes (pockets) that were located with geological equipment and survey data. That is not too "sciencey" there CNBC is it?

posted on Jun, 29 2016 @ 05:03 PM
Do not depend on MSM to get science right. Ever. Though it can provide breadcrumbs to follow.

posted on Jun, 29 2016 @ 05:27 PM
a reply to: Phage

At least the guy got the extraction method explained correctly. One would just drill for it like gas or oil.

And yeah, the "Weasel Shuts Down World's Largest Collider" started off with an NPR quote. I learned my lesson right then and there. I should have read it on NPR as a story and went to the source: CERN. Oh well... you live, you learn.

edit on 29-6-2016 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: grammar nazi

posted on Jul, 5 2016 @ 12:10 PM
Cool story about two helium filled zeppelins that are about ready to go into production! Both are helium filled one has a rigid airframe and the other is just bladders and inner fans keeping the structure filled.

So what's changed since 1937? Back then airships used highly flammable hydrogen, whereas now they rely on helium, which is completely inert and safe.

"It's also about modern materials and fabrics - the old 800ft airships had metal lattice works internal structure," says Hwfa Gwyn, Chief Financial Officer at Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV), which has created the Airlander 10.

"Our vehicle is much shorter, much lighter with a pressure-stabilised hull of helium air, pressurised by a fan and valve system, but no other internal structure."

At 92m long, Airliner is still bigger than a Boeing 747 and can fly for as much as five days without landing.
To fill Airlander 10 with helium costs about £250,000, with only about 25% of it lost each year.

Source: TechRada, July 2, 2016 - Airships are back. And this time they use grapheme.

Vertical take off and landing, aloft for 5 days, and on a yearly average, only 25% of the helium lost?... by 2019... that is pretty cool news! And that is the French version, the TechRadar article goes on to describe the Lockheed Martin LC60A-T which uses graphene ultra-capacitors (the headline that got my attention), or is electric (if you will), and they are planning for a 2020 production date.

So there are two other huge uses for helium in the near future!

posted on Jul, 7 2016 @ 07:01 PM

Correction: There was nothing said about Lockheed's Hybrid Airship's propulsion system. The French Whales use the graphene ultra-capacitors. My mistake.

posted on Jul, 7 2016 @ 07:16 PM

The problem for the government is that the [helium] discovery has been made in Tanzania’s Rift Valley; an area already beset with land claim issues between indigenous communities and businesses. Tanzania was already admonished by the UN in 2010 regarding the removal of pastoralists without informed consent. Indigenous groups, notably the Maasai, have been repeatedly (and often violently) evicted from ancestral lands to make way for development projects.

Consequently, long-standing grievances exist among local groups, who do not feel represented by the government.

Source:, July 1, 2016 – Giant Helium Find May Spell Trouble For Tanzania.

Great! Leave it to politics to muck everything up. As an oil magazine they probably know a bit about right of way, land usage, etc., associated with unproduced finds. Ah, that may be a real nest as they are already at each other's throats over development. Add in tourist trade and taxes... this may be unfortunate indeed.

The article goes in-depth so if you feel like flogging yourself give it a read. Not sure how to feel about this one. *sigh*

posted on Sep, 16 2016 @ 02:17 PM

“We [Helium One] are currently on schedule with our work programme,” he revealed. “The airborne gravity survey is just about to occur in the third quarter of this year, drilling will commence in the second quarter of 2017, so we can rank and prioritise our targets and hit the best ones first. We are in a very good position; our intention is to be able to calculate reserves and then make a final investment decision, with the ultimate aim of producing around one billion cubic feet per annum of liquid helium on site and looking at options for exporting our product.”

Two alternative helium supply sources in the chain were highlighted next, with Air Products’ Dr. Vince White and IACX’s Brian Witt talking about helium extraction from carbon dioxide and primary product helium production from non-hydrocarbon sources, respectively.

Both presentations revealed the novel techniques were relatively young in practise compared to traditional production methods, with Air Products’ Doe Canyon project being the first of its kind. White suggested that, “With the price of helium going up, what wasn’t attractive suddenly becomes attractive,” whilst Witt affirmed that, “Other primary products production projects are expected to grow over the next five years.”

Source:, Sept. 13, 2016 Global Helium Summit 2.0: supply source security in focus as event concludes.

The Helium One company is the one that discovered the Tanzania find of the OP. Nice to see a timeline and it is rather short period. No real discussion on how one creates helium out of carbon dioxide (!!!??? That is just kind of crazy!) or what is involved in producing helium from “non-hydrocarbon” sources. But hey, I like crazy ideas!

The article recaps the 2011 – 2013 shortage and the ripples of fear felt through industries that depend upon helium. They said supply and demand should stabilize between 2017 – 2021. They even mentions one of my favorite topics, nuclear fusion! They said there may be a bottle neck if fusion happens before a certain date (2020 I think). But they said that would only limit full adoption with current and known supply lines.

A good overall view of helium in both production and projections versus supply.

posted on Sep, 22 2016 @ 05:00 PM
I was checking on helium and saw this. It has a bit to do with helium but probably could be its own thread. Since this is just an announcement on approval to proceed and announce a grant, I do not feel too bad lumping it in with helium OP. But then again, here is another use for helium that was not foreseen.

The company, Maryland-based X-energy, specializes in high-temperature gas-cooled reactors that operate on so called “pebble” fuel, or pieces of uranium wrapped in graphite and cooled by inert helium gas that company officials describe as more efficient than traditional facilities. Officials say the zero-emission reactors do not have to halt during refueling periods and they do not require water to cool it, eliminating the threat of meltdown.


What? I have not heard of this before… or have I? So, since it already has everything, off to Wikipedia I go! So the main entry is called Pebble-bed reactor so I read (there is a good graphic showing how a reactor would work). Here is the gist: Uranium-235 is gathered together in tennis-ball-sized “pebbles” sheathed in silicone carbide. Graphite is used to moderate the heat but the reactor does not use water to contain the generated heat (and make radioactive waste) (my synopsis of the Wikipedia entry). The pebbles are allowed to react in an inert gas. If oxygen is present the graphite will ignite which is a big problem. The article has it wrong—helium is not used to cool the reactor. The gas is circulated around heat transfer coils so that takes the heat out of the reactor not the helium! The helium (or any inert gas) is used to keep the graphite from igniting. Then I run across the name of this type of reactor is called, very high temperature reactor. Ah! Now I know that I have indeed heard of them before especially the thorium reactor! Back to the article…

Winning regulatory approval for the plant, along with designing and building it, could take years. But company officials previously told the Odessa American there would likely be incremental work such as smaller test facilities along the way. The plant itself could contain up to four units on land the size of a football field, each producing about 80 megawatts of electricity and 200 megawatts of thermal energy.

In January, the DOE announced a $40 million award to X-energy to develop the high-temperature gas cooled-reactor, known as the Xe-100

Source: Odessa American ( (as in Texas), Sept. 21, 2016 – ODC approves grant to push for reactor.

So America has entered the emission free reactor fray! Awesome! About time. We need to eat up all the nuclear “waste” and burn it out in these types of reactors. The energy revolution (or is it a re-revolution?) is starting. Zero emission reactors, grid-level storage, next needed is efficient energy transmission then nuclear fusion will be next.

Although if this reactor happens too fast the helium reserve would be stretched. Let's hope that the Canadian effort goes well and they can add to the global helium supply.
edit on 22-9-2016 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: grammar nazi and clarity

posted on Sep, 22 2016 @ 05:18 PM

There is something we don't know about helium. Since I am in government contracting I saw this short section of the FAR that dictates how helium is bought by federal agencies and under government contracts... Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 8.5...Source

Subpart 8.5 -- Acquisition of Helium

8.500 -- Scope of Subpart.

This subpart implements the requirements of the Helium Act (50 U.S.C. 167, et seq.) concerning the acquisition of liquid or gaseous helium by Federal agencies or by Government contractors or subcontractors for use in the performance of a Government contract (also see 43 CFR Parts 3195).

8.501 -- Definitions.

As used in this subpart-- “Bureau of Land Management” means the --
Department of the Interior
Bureau of Land Management
Amarillo Field Office Helium Operations
801 South Fillmore Street Suite 500
Amarillo, TX 79101-3545.

“Federal helium supplier” means a private helium vendor that has an in-kind crude helium sales contract with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and that is on the BLM Amarillo Field Office’s Authorized List of Federal Helium Suppliers available via the Internet at

“Major helium requirement” means an estimated refined helium requirement greater than 200,000 standard cubic feet (scf) (measured at 14.7 pounds per square inch absolute pressure and 70 degrees Fahrenheit temperature) of gaseous helium or 7510 liters of liquid helium delivered to a helium use location per year.

8.502 -- Policy. Agencies and their contractors and subcontractors must purchase major helium requirements from Federal helium suppliers, to the extent that supplies are available.

8.503 -- Exception. The requirements of this subpart do not apply to contracts or subcontracts in which the helium was acquired by the contractor prior to award of the contract or subcontract.

8.504 -- Procedures. The contracting officer must forward the following information to the Bureau of Land Management within 45 days of the close of each fiscal quarter:
(a) The name of any company that supplied a major helium requirement.
(b) The amount of helium purchased.
(c) The delivery date(s).
(d) The location where the helium was used.

8.505 -- Contract Clause. Insert the clause at 52.208-8, Required Sources for Helium and Helium Usage Data, in solicitations and contracts if it is anticipated that performance of the contract involves a major helium requirement.
Although after I did a minimum amount of research just now I found the real reason...

Why should anyone care about the Federal Helium Program? The Federal Helium Program provides about 42% of the nation’s helium. Without this source of helium, a national and global shortage of helium is inevitable with significantly higher prices expected for the limited supply. In addition, the U.S. Treasury averages $430,000/day from crude helium sales, royalties and other related operations.

posted on Sep, 22 2016 @ 05:37 PM
a reply to: bonsaihorn

Thanks for the info! That is pretty incredible how tight of a lid they keep on the stuff. And I am not sure if I ever pointed out that the Reserve is run the BLM back in the OP, so thanks for the FAR which explicitly states ownership.

The last few articles I have run across says we (USA) are running at a zero sum on our reserves (equal amounts coming in as going out. That is all explained, and concisely reported, in the Helium 2.0 Summit overview). Helium demand is the huge variable over the next couple years.

The zero emission reactors and even nuclear fusion reactors *could* strain the available supply. The nice thing about nuclear fusion is that the "waste" product is helium! So I picture something like this happening: a nuclear fusion device comes online, the excess helium will be used in VHTRs as the entire generation of power is converted over.

Is it too soon to call it, The Helium Economy?

BTW, Lockheed and Airlander will have helium filled air ships up and flying around next year which is about the time drilling in Tanzania is to start. This may be a race to the finish!

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