Monday, January 25, 2010

NRC: Reconsider selling federal helium reserves

A new report from the National Research Council finds that selling off the reserves has adversely affected critical users of helium and recommends that the federal government reconsider whether selling the reserves is still in the nation’s best interest.

For the past few years, Enhanced Oil Resources has been carrying out a large exploration program for helium and CO2 in the St. Johns area of eastern Arizona.    The NRC report projects reserves of 14 billion cubic feet (bcf) of helium in this play.  [right, helium resources in the western US.  Credit, NRC report]

Selling the Nation's Helium Reserve, National Academy Press, 2010, 128p.
ISBN-10: 0-309-14979-7


  1. Anonymous9:51 AM

    With no infrastructure to utilize the C02 for oil recovery, could St. John's move towards development of the helium and simply vent the C02 in the air? Is there anyway to see if any applications to vent C02 have been made to the government?

  2. Ridgeway's plans have been to ship the CO2 to New Mexico and West Texas where there is a big demand for it in EOR. Much of Ridgeway's drilling has been to prove up sufficient reserves of CO2 to justify the building of a pipeline.

    There has never been any discussion of simply venting the CO2.

    A new wrinkle is that a Utah company is interested in using the CO2 as the driving fluid in a geothermal power plant instead of water to make steam.