The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has announced the process and timeline by which remaining helium and helium assets will be disposed of in order to meet the requirements of the Helium Stewardship Act of 2013.
In accordance with such law, the BLM will no longer manage the Federal Helium System (including the Federal Helium Reserve) as of 30th September 2021.
Any excess helium and helium assets remaining on that date will be transferred to the General Services Administration (GSA), which will follow its statutory disposal process. This will also allow the BLM to continue operations until such time as all privately owned helium is produced from the field (about 2023).
“For more than a century, the US Government has played a vital role in meeting helium needs for the country – especially for Federal agencies that depend on helium for scientific research, aerospace projects, and defence purposes,” said William Perry Pendley, BLM Deputy Director for Policy and Programs.
“Now it is time for the US Government to remove itself from the helium business and allow the private sector to further develop this industry to meet the supply needs of the US, creating a sustainable economic model and jobs for Americans.”
The Federal Helium Reserve (Reserve), located near Amarillo, Texas, is currently the only helium storage facility in the world. The Reserve has sold crude helium to private companies and indirectly supplied helium to Federal users since 1996, and provided refined helium beginning in the 1960s.