The US General Services Administration’s (GSA) William Morgan has provided an update on the status of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) efforts to dispose of its helium assets.
The update was given at the BLM’s annual storage contract holders’ meeting on 18thJuly in Amarillo, Texas.
According to the Helium Stewardship Act (HSA)of 2013, the BLM is required to dispose of its helium assets by no later than 30thSeptember 2021.
The GSA is the designated ‘disposal agency’ for the BLM’s helium assets and is taking the lead in the disposal process, which is being carried out in accordance with 40 US Code, Chapter 5.
The five-step disposal process starts with the Federal agency (the BLM) reporting excess property to the GSA for disposition and eventually leads to the assets being offered for sale to public and private parties via either an auction or sealed bid process.
The Federal helium assets to be sold include:
Mineral rights to Bush Dome Reservoir (crude helium)
Cliffside Refiners Limited Partnership’s (CRLP) compression and refining equipment (crude helium enrichment unit) will not be included in the sale.
A Phase I Environmental Report has already been completed with no outstanding recognised environmental conditions. The GSA is currently assisting the BLM with its title work, which is approximately 95% complete, and there is a requirement for national historic preservation consultations.
The GSA and BLM will eventually prepare a ‘data room’ for potential bidders and is currently compiling a list of interested buyers.
The target date for reporting the helium assets as excess to be offered for sale is 1stOctober 2020.
Interested parties should contact:
William Morgan, Sr. Project Manager
General Services Administration
Real Property Utilization and Disposal Division
Tel: +1 (817) 307-7651
Speaking at gasworld’s Helium Summit 2018 in Houston, Texas last year, Sam Burton (pictured) – Field Manager for the BLM’s Federal Helium Programme – said of the closure and transfer of operations of the Federal Helium Programme to private operations, “The GSA is assisting the BLM with their due diligence such as title work.”
“The BLM is preparing the SF-118 for submission and the GSA is compiling a list of interested buyers. The target date for reporting the property excess is 1st October (2020).”
“…we know that the BLM will be stepping out of this process in three years. We will be working diligently to get our compressor online and we will very, very much look forward to completing the requirements of the Helium Stewardship Act.”
It has long been known that the BLM pipeline, the world’s biggest helium resource, is on a timer to depletion and that by 2021 we will face the reality of a new-look helium business altogether. The industry has been scrambling to bring new capacity online around the world and unearth innovative new means of sourcing, while end-users have been actively pursuing recovery and recycling technologies.
About the author
Phil Kornbluth Kornbluth is thePresident of Kornbluth HeliumConsulting, LLC and is a member ofgasworld’s Editorial Advisory Boards.
Kornbluth has worked in the helium business for the last 36 years, including stints running the global businesses of both BOC Gases and the MATHESON subsidiary of Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation (TNSC).
He can be reached at Phil@KornbluthHeliumConsulting.comor +1 (908) 745-9779.