The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has announced that its second annual auction of Federal helium at the Amarillo Field Office in Texas, held yesterday under the terms of the Helium Stewardship Act (HSA) of 2013, generated more than $28m.

A total of 300 MCF (thousand cubic feet) from the Federal Helium Reserve near Amarillo was offered, representing 25% of the total volume the BLM will make available from the Reserve in Fiscal Year 2016.

The helium was offered in 18 lots, ranging from 5-25 MCF, to a diverse array of companies from around the world. Bids ranged from $100 to $106 per MCF, generating a total of $28.5m in revenue.

One lot of 25 MCF went unsold, the BLM revealed.

“This year’s auction was again successful in achieving a key objective of the Act, to maximise the value of Federal helium through a market-driven process,” commented Robert B. Jolley, BLM Amarillo Field Office Manager.

“This, in turn, is expected to incentivise private producers to develop other sources of helium – domestically and internationally – to supply the market when the Federal Helium Reserve is fully drawn down.”

Dollar sign currency

The revenue generated is part of almost $120m that the Helium Programme will remit to the US Treasury this year.

The BLM’s first annual auction was held in summer 2014; there were three helium sales and one helium auction in fiscal year 2014, executed in accordance with the HSA of 2013, generating a total of $215m for the year (2014).

Passed by Congress in 2013, the HSA established an auction system for the sale of Federal helium and mandated that all property, equipment, and interest held by the US in the Federal Helium Reserve be disposed of by 30th September 2021.