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Title: Development of an Agent-based Model to Analyze Contemporary Helium Markets

Although U.S. helium demand has remained relatively flat since 2009, exports of helium have increased significantly since then, driven primarily by demand for electronic and semiconductor manufacturing in Asia. In the midst of this global demand shift, the Helium Act dictates a new procedure for pricing and distributing the gas through a reserve that historically functioned as a loose “oligarchy.” The new procedure requires prices to be determined by the open market through auctions and a survey of market prices, as opposed to increasing prices according to the consumer price index. Response to these changes has caused temporary shortages, price increases, and a significant increase in the development of the helium extraction technologies used to produce helium from formerly marginal sources. Technologies are being developed and refined to extract helium from formerly low-yielding natural gas fields containing much lower amounts of helium than the previously considered economic threshold of 0.3%. Combining these transformative policies with the potential for new and significant global supplies from Qatar, Algeria, and Russia could lead to new and unforeseen market behaviors and reactions from global helium markets. The objective of the project is to analyze the global helium markets.
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  1. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Energy Policy and Systems Analysis
Country of Publication:
United States
99 GENERAL AND MISCELLANEOUS; U.S. helium reserves; agent-based modeling; global helium market; helium price projection; helium stewardship act; helium supply demand