Following in the footsteps of deals involving The Linde Group and Matheson, Air Liquide has become the latest gas company to enter agreement with Gazprom for future helium cooperation.

Alexander Medvedev, from Gazprom, and Air Liquide’s François Darchis finalized the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for potential future cooperation in the course of Gazprom’s Helium Project implementation in Eastern Siberia.

The MOU will see Air Liquide and Gazprom Export study forms of strategic cooperation such as joint production, transportation, storage and marketing of helium within the Helium Project framework.

A new helium production facility in the vicinity of Blagoveshensk is described as ‘tentatively scheduled’ to commence production of liquid helium around 2018.

Darchis, senior vice-president and a member of Air Liquide’s Executive Committee, said of the agreement, “In order to better serve its customers in the helium business worldwide, Air Liquide will bring its technological expertise and leadership to this new partnership with Gazprom as it always does with strategic partners.”