04/21/2023 by All Gas Welding & Supply 0 Comments
Why There's a Helium Shortage and What It Means for Your Party Balloons
While there have been shortages in the helium market since 2006, it was expected that new facilities being built and coming online would lift the market in 2022. Unfortunately, a series of events prevented that from happening. It is now anticipated that the shortage could continue into 2026.
The reason for the helium shortage is due to a combination of factors, including limited production, increasing demand, and the closure of some helium plants. Helium cannot be artificially created. It is the product of deep underground decay of natural radioactive elements and takes many millennia to make.
We typically get our helium as a by-product of natural gas production. While not all natural gas wells have viable amounts of helium, some have concentrations as high as 4%. It can also be produces by liquefying air and separating out its components. As you can imagine this production process is exceptionally costly.
What caused the helium shortage? A variety of factors, including the war in the Ukraine, plant shutdowns and major fires at natural gas producing facilities world-wide. This was the perfect storm of events to cause a lack of production and therefore a shortage.
All of this has led to a decrease in the availability of helium for balloon filling, and in most cases, a sharp increase in the cost of helium. It's important to plan and check with your local party supply store to ensure they have helium available for your balloon needs. Our supply at AllGas is certainly affected by this shortage. Please contact us for current pricing and availability at 800-380-1427.