Market Overview

Helium Market Set to Grow Due to a Wide Array of Applications


Helium Market Set to Grow Due to a Wide Array of Applications News Commentary

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, June 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --

According to data provided by Technavio, the global helium market is expected to exceed USD 1.5 billion by 2020 and at a CAGR of around 9% during the forecast period. The National Academic Press (NAP) describes helium as a by-product of natural gas production, so the behavior of the helium market is dominated by conditions in the natural gas market. NAP also indicates that demand for helium, as for most raw materials, is primarily a derived demand. As a result, most consumers of helium use it not as a final product but as an input to the production of other goods and services. Therefore, predicting demand for helium depends on predicting demand for other products. American Helium Inc. (OTC:AHELF), Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. (NYSE:APD), Praxair, Inc. (NYSE:PX), Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ:WDC), PJSC Gazprom (OTC:OGZPY)

Helium is often used as a cryogenic coolant in innovative energy and defense research. Comprehensive research by three scientific organizations - American Physical Society, Materials Research Society and American Chemical Society - indicates that, "Liquid helium is the professional lifeblood of tens of thousands of scientists and engineers across America's discovery and innovation landscape, including universities, industries, and national laboratories. It has enabled the development of billion-dollar industries, fueled essential life-saving medical diagnostic tools, led to thousands of patents, generated numerous Nobel prizes - and it remains essential to future innovation. There is no replacement for liquid helium. Helium is unique among all elements for its ability to reach ultra-cold temperatures."

American Helium Inc. (OTCQB:AHELF) is also listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker symbol (TSX-V: AHE). Last week the company reported that, "a significant increase in business opportunities has led to the establishment of a satellite office in Denver, CO to manage regional operations in Utah and to further facilitate the expanded activities of the Company.

The recent rebranding and shift from the previous Bruin Point company name, was undertaken to demonstrate a new mission, vision, goals and activities at and beyond its singularly important Utah holdings. While the previous name referenced a geological outcrop in Utah close to the Company's property, the name of American Helium ushers in a new era for the Company and reflects the strategic plan to expand operational reach and activity.

As part of the increased activity, the Company has executed a project agreement with Yankee Resources LLC of Golden, CO and has appointed LoneTree Energy & Associates LLC to acquire certain acreage in SE Colorado. The project consists of two parts. The immediate objective is to redrill two wells that have proven helium resources and were plugged and abandoned in the mid-nineties, offering the potential for near term production.

The second part of the project will offer an exploration focus through the acquisition of land and a subsequent 3D seismic survey aimed at further defining areas of likely helium accumulations.

In related news, the Company reports that as part of its commitment to increased efforts in the region that Frank Jacobs, American Helium President & CEO has relocated to Denver to more effectively drive operations."

Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. (NYSE:APD) is an Industrial Gases company in operation for over 75 years. The Company's core industrial gases business provides atmospheric and process gases and related equipment to manufacturing markets, including refining and petrochemical, metals, electronics, and food and beverage. Air Products announced on May 5th, 2018 that it has continued its long collaboration in providing vital industrial gases to NASA and the United States' (U.S.) Space Program with the successful launch and first-ever mission to study the heart of the Mars. Air Products supplied its proprietary helium pumping system, the only one-of-its-kind in the industrial gas industry, which is key to the pressurization of helium, as well as the helium for the mission used for pressurization and purging of the fuel propellant tanks, and also provided liquid nitrogen for rocket instrument purging, and liquid oxygen as part of the overall rocket fuel mix.

Praxair, Inc. (NYSE:PX) is an industrial gas company in North and South America and one of the largest worldwide. Praxair on November 15, 2017 notified bulk liquid helium customers worldwide of increases in helium prices of up to 10%, depending upon the region, effective January 1, 2018, or as contracts permit. Price adjustments may be higher or lower than this range in accordance with contract provisions. This adjustment is in response to continuing cost inflation impacting crude and refined helium, including the most recent U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced price increase, as well as higher distribution costs worldwide. Praxair continues to make investments and enhancements in capacity and the efficiency of its helium operations worldwide; this adjustment will further enable the company to continue to deliver high levels of supply reliability.

Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ:WDC) is driving innovation needed to help customers capture, preserve, access and transform an ever-increasing diversity of data. Known for enabling new levels of enterprise total cost of ownership (TCO) with HelioSeal® helium hard drive technology and industry leading capacity drives, Western Digital Corporation expanded its portfolio for enterprise customers on January 18th, 2018 with a new, mid-range series of 4 terabyte (TB), 6TB and 8TB air-based hard drives. The new products enable corporate data centers having data set sizes smaller than found in hyperscale environments to harness the power of data across a broad spectrum of Big Data applications such as analytics and distributed file systems. "The power of Big Data is driving the need for higher capacities across a broad spectrum of applications," said Brendan Collins, vice president of marketing, Devices Business Unit, Western Digital. "Today, mid-range applications are preparing to move from 1TB and 2TB configurations to higher capacities. Our new enterprise solutions blend the technology and TCO leadership of Western Digital's capacity enterprise product line with a high-density, air-based hard drive design, allowing OEMs to offer data centers a solution to keep Big Data on-premises, rather than transition entirely to the cloud."

PJSC Gazprom (OTC:OGZPY) is a global energy company focused on geological exploration, production, transportation, storage, processing and sales of gas, gas condensate and oil, sales of gas as a vehicle fuel, as well as generation and marketing of heat and electric power. The Eastern Gas Program aims to create a unified gas transmission, production and processing system in the east of Russia, to provide reliable gas supplies to Russian consumers, be they private, municipal or industrial, and to develop the company's export potential in Russia's Far East. Gazprom has created and developed a resource base in parallel with long-distance gas transmission capacities. The company approaches the resource base, which contains valuable petrochemical components, in a comprehensive manner, as it knows it has to maximize profit. Gazprom can extract ethane, liquefied hydrocarbon gases, and helium. Eastern Siberia's hydrocarbon fields contain helium, which is why the company decided to build the Amur GPP. The Amur GPP will process 42 billion cubic meters of gas per year. When it goes into operation, the Amur GPP will become the world's second largest in terms of capacity.

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