The future availability of helium has been raised as an issue in the literature. However, a disaggregated projection of helium production has not been attempted, presumably due to the difficult nature of accessing disaggregated historic production data to test the accuracy of this issue. This paper presents collated and estimated historic helium production statistics from 1921 to 2012 for each helium producing country in the world and by U.S. state. A high and regular growth projection of helium has been created. It is found that helium resources are sufficient for the near future, with the projected production plateauing in 2060–2075 and 2090–2100 for the high and regular growth scenarios, respectively. As long as natural gas deposits with helium are appropriately managed, there is little likelihood for helium shortages to occur in the short term due to geologic constraints.
Copyright 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.