Global Helium Production is Not Expected to Grow Due to Low Demand

Nov 14th, 2017

According to the consulting group CREON Energy, they do not expect global growth in demand for helium with the medium-term.

Within 2016 the world production of helium amounted to 152 million m3, which is equivalent to the 2015 production volumes. The experts explain this by the decrease in the supply from underground storage of helium in Cliffside, United States.  Despite the fact that Qatar has increased the production of helium, it’s not enough to offset the decline in the supplies from the U.S.

At year-end 2016, the United States has taken a leading position in the world production of helium from natural gas which is 63 million m3. The major consumers of the American product were Asian Pacific countries, Canada and Mexico. Also, the global market received 22 million m3 of helium from American storages. Volumes of production of helium in Qatar amounted to 42 million m3.

The global consumption of helium in 2016 amounted to 150 million m3, which is also equal to the previous year. Among the world’s consumers, the primary customers of helium were Asian countries – 45% of global consumption volume, followed by the USA that used more than 30%.  Europe consumed nearly 18% of the globally produced helium volume.

The biggest part of the gas from Qatar was delivered to China – 9 million m3, and to Europe. CREON, being a Russian consulting company, reported that the Russian supply of helium to the world market is relatively small due to the fact that domestic demand for this feedstock remains high while the production volume is limited.

The current situation at the helium market shows that there is no reasonable basis for the increase of demand for helium over the longer term.  Such conclusions are made in the view of the facts that still there are no new applications of helium and that the U.S. has reduced the supply of helium for international consumers.