Privatization of BLM’s helium assets raises concerns


Two of the most widely discussed topics at the recent gasworld Helium Summit in Houston were the potential impact of the end of the US Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) crude helium sales to private industry and the privatization of the BLM’s helium assets which is scheduled to take place between September 30, 2020 and September 30, 2021.  

At the conclusion of the gasworld event, some conference attendees were still questioning whether the BLM’s current path could be altered to provide a smoother transition to the post-BLM period.

The BLM’s Crude Helium Pipeline and Storage System has been at the center of the world’s helium business since its creation was mandated by the Helium Conservation Act of 1960. The 425-mile pipeline, which stretches from the Bush Dome Reservoir (aka Cliffside Field), just north of Amarillo, Texas, through the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles and then northeast to Bushton, Kansas, connects the Federal Helium Reserve to seven helium refining facilities as well as a number of natural gas processing plants that produce crude helium as a by-product.  

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