As we enter March 2019, Helium Shortage 3.0, the third period of sustained helium shortage since 2006, has now persisted for over a year.
The consensus view is that the shortage began in February 2018, when two of the world’s major suppliers began to allocate (i.e. ration) supply to their contract customers.
However, there are some who would argue that Helium Shortage 3.0 can be traced back to June 5, 2017, when a group of countries led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced an embargo of Qatar which resulted in the temporary shutdown of Qatar’s helium production and caused a helium shortage that lasted into the Fall of 2017.
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