Helium: Discovery in UK coal seams could spur exploration


Helium-rich samples have been discovered in UK coal seams, prompting speculation not only of a potential new source of the noble gas, but also that its presence might further enable the safe production of shale gas.

Scientists at the University of Edinburgh and the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre (SUERC) recently sampled deep methane gas from an exploratory coal bed methane field in central Scotland, and disused coal mines in central England.

To the intrigue and excitement of researchers, high levels of helium gas were found at each site.

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