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Concerns mount as helium reserve closure approaches

7:17 AM MDT | August 23, 2013 | —Lindsay Frost

Helium supplies face an abrupt drop in October unless Congress passes legislation to continue operating the US Federal Helium Reserve (Amarillo, TX). The reserve, operated by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), supplies more than one-third of the world’s crude helium supply. A 1996 law requires BLM to pay down $1.3 billion in debt from crude helium sales but does not provide for continued operations after the debt is paid. “The BLM is scheduled to make the final [debt] payment on 7 October 2013, two years ahead of schedule,” says Donna Hummel...

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