Wednesday, June 14, 2017

New wrinkle in helium supply: the Qatar blockade

Qatar, the world's second largest helium producer, has closed its two helium production plants because of the economic boycott imposed by other Arab states, industry sources told Reuters on Tuesday. 
The helium plants operated by RasGas, a subsidiary of state-owned Qatar Petroleum (QP), were shut after Saudi Arabia closed its border with Qatar, blocking overland exports of the gas, a QP official told Reuters. RasGas is 70 percent owned by QP and U.S. giant Exxon Mobil has 30 percent.... 
...The closure of the plants is a sign of how the rift between Qatar and Arab powers could affect commodities markets. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic and transport ties last week, accusing Qatar of supporting terrorism, a charge Doha denies.... 
The two plants shut by Qatar have a combined annual production capacity of approximately 2 billion standard cubic feet of liquid helium and can meet about 25 percent of total world demand for the gas, according to RasGas' website....
I presume (because of normalcy bias) that the Qatar boycott will end at some point, but it will be interesting to see how and where the ripples of this will go... 


  1. I do not want to sound political but in another act of stupidity, the Clown in chief shot himself on his foot!

    1. There are a lot of other places on the internet to talk politics.

  2. Bahrain boycots Qatar for essentially human rights violations?

    Oh the irony.

  3. Two billion ft3 of liquid helium? Or helium gas?

  4. It sounds like there are deep grievances and wounds in the GCC. I hope that preservation of stability in commodities will Helium. Surely they can Qatar deal or something. Bahrain such a resolution, we might risk a return to uncertainty in our cryogenics supply, Em-I-rite? Either way, it's a serious crisis...ku knows what could happen if ku wait too long to solve it.