Amarillo Helium Auction

We have about 10 billion cubic feet of helium stored here in Amarillo, and in just a few days, 92 million cubic feet of it will be up for grabs. Robert Jolley, the Amarillo Field Office Manager from the Bureau of Land Management says, it’s the first auction of it’s kind.” In the Helium Stewardship Act of 2013, Congress decided that it wanted to have auctions to increase the number of people who may purchase the helium. So on July 30th at 2 p.m. here in the Amarillo field office, we’ll have an auction.” As part of the Helium Stewardship Act of 2013, 3 billion cubic feet of our 10 billion cubic feet needs to be sold by September 30, 2021. Jolley tells us, “and then the act says we’re supposed to dispose of the reservoir and all the assets”. He says they’re expecting it to generate more revenue per thousand cubic feet of helium, plus it opens it up to a broader audience. “The legislation discusses a qualified bidder and anyone in the nation who has funds and has a need and a use for helium is able to meet that qualified bidder determination and participate in the auction.” According to Jolley, Wednesday’s auction will benefit gas companies and non-refineries nationwide, including some big gas companies here in Texas. It’s even gained attention worldwide. A Japanese based corporation has reached out to them about the auction as well. Jolley says in some cases the price of helium is so high companies buy it themselves, store it, pay the tolling fee to get it refined and end up saving money in the end. He also tells us some smaller research centers and universities have reached out about pooling together and bidding on some of Amarillo’s helium. Jolley says the Helium Stewardship Act of 2013 was one of only five acts the president signed during the governments shutdown back in October.

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