The race to space by billionaire entrepreneurs is big news right now, but even the richest of the rich with dreams of commercial intergalactic travel are competing for Earth’s most precious element to give those dreams liftoff. Reese Energy Consulting today is following the latest news on the ongoing shortage of helium. The U.S. produces 40% of the world’s supply found in raw natural gas deposits in Texas, Okla., Wyo., and along the Kan.-Colo., border. Helium is extremely rare and every molecule in the world is under contract. U.S. federal reserve supplies of the gas are all but gone, and what little is left will be headed to the auction block by September. At the same time, demand is stratospheric given its ubiquitous role in some of the world’s largest industries. Aside from lifting rocket ships, helium is essential to manufacture MRI magnets, microscopes, microchips, semiconductors, computer hard drives, fiber optics—the list goes on. All of which has given rise to a new wave of entrepreneurs to extract, purify, and liquefy helium to ensure you and 74 million other subscribers can continue to binge-watch Netflix, which stores its data on helium-filled drives.
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