What is Helium

Helium is a vital and irreplaceable element in many modern industries

Helium uses

Why is helium important?

  • Helium is a rare commodity
  • Helium is critical to almost all facets of modern life, including medical, electronics, defence, research, and of course the occasional party!
  • Once vented, helium is the ONLY element on the periodic table which can NEVER be recovered

Helium uses

Irreplaceable without Substitutes

Helium Uses


Does not react chemically
with other elements


odorless and tasteless

Lighter than Air

Ability to lift and/or float

Boiling -268.9°C

Does not solidify at
atmospheric pressure


The only substance with no viscosity in liquid form making it critical in use for high energy physics

Key Considerations

Strong Supply & Demand Dynamics


  • Estimates vary but annual usage is 6-7BCF (28m – 32m kg) worth $US6bn
  • USA is the largest user of helium, accounting for 41% of current global demand

  • Increased penetration of MRI in emerging markets

  • Growth in electronics, semiconductors, LCD and fibre optics mainly from South East Asia

  • Quantum computers are becoming commercially viable and rely on large amounts of helium to operate


  • USA is currently the world’s leading helium supplier with ~ 55% share of global supply in 2016, followed by Qatar with ~32% (Source: USGS)
  • Blockade of Qatar, followed by the Suez Canal blockage have increased uncertainty on helium from the region

  • Supply is diminishing with the US Bureau of Land Management having announced a permanent shut down with the last auction having occured in August 2018

  • Hugoton field winding down and expected to shut in 2023, at which point the USA may become a net importer of helium

  • The current US administration is pressuring industry to reduce the use of fossil fuels, the primary source of helium, which will impact long term global supply

Key Future Catalysts

  • Space agencies (China, India, SpaceX)

  • According to Deloitte’s 2019 report “Global health care outlook”, the number of private hospitals in China doubled to 18,759 from 2011 to 2017 which represents a compound growth of over 12% in the private health care sector alone

  • The world’s only primary helium supply, the USA Federal reserve goes offline to the public sector in 2021, due to depletion