Dr David Dwight Johnson, CEO at Imperial Helium, explained how Canada can play a vital role in the future of the helium sector, as part of the Helium: A Year of Change webinar. 

Speaking on the webinar, sponsored by DOD Technologies, Johnson said, “Canadian companies such as Imperial Helium are at the forefront of developing a Canadian helium industry.”

“From World War Two onwards, we’ve seen anywhere from 20-50% of the global raw helium supply basically supplied out of the US through the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).”

“But with the cessation of sales by BLM, we’ve seen a major shift in the current global supply to other countries, including Russia, Qatar and Algeria - and they now account for about 50% of the global supply.”

“With this shift in supply outside North America, and countries far away with lower levels of regulation, we’ve seen exploitation strategies like Imperial Helium’s and exploration strategies like a number of our competitors increase in Canada to feed into the US market with the shortfall in the removal of supply by the BLM.”

Johnson also mentioned that the interest in helium is growing which has helped the industry further, saying, “With respect to the investment community, we’ve seen a desire for more rigor and understanding around resources.” 

“So we’ve been engaged by regulators in discussions about classification of helium resources to bring them in line with resource classification used in the hydrocarbon sector i.e. prospective resources, contingent resources and reserves.”

Johnson concluded by adding, “Overall, I think we’re seeing a growing helium industry moving forward and establishing its roots, which will begin to drive more Canadian industry. So, yes, the Canadian helium industry is definitely growing.”

To watch Johnson’s talk with gasworld TV in full click here. Alternatively, you can watch the Helium: A Year of Change webinar in full here