Ranger Development has begun production of helium from the old Navajo Springs field near Holbrook in eastern Arizona. [Photo credit, Ranger Development]
Arizona helium fields are among the richest anywhere in terms of concentration of helium but production stopped decades ago when the US government helium reserves supplied most needs at an artificially low set price. That reserve was going to shut down last year but the commercial sector has not yet geared up to replace it so the US reserve will continue for a few more years while other reserves are developed.
There is a worldwide shortage of helium that has pushed prices to $157 per thousand cubic feet (MCF) in a recent BLM auction. For comparison, natural gas is selling for about $3 per MCF.
We hope to have more news about this development. Other companies are also exploring and drilling in the area.