Helium Production: Russia is intending to move closer towards piping helium that could raise geopolitical risks and threat to the supply of this finite resource. One of the biggest reserves of gas are found in Siberia region, that Russia is intending to tap into through its manufacturing units come into action in 2021.
Currently, the US and Qatar produce a chunk of the helium. US in the past is known to have sanctioned other projects by Gazprom that promises to create a pipeline of helium supply to China and whoever else would like to be in business with Russia. Indeed Russia will be “well-positioned to supply China and the technology industry on the US West Coast”.
Russia has close ties with China and this might have been one more reason, it did not break a sweat over the dubious production of Covid-19 vaccines in its own country or Beijing for that matter.
With Russia dominance of the supply of helium, geopolitical dynamics might get imbalanced. In the past, the Trump administration had sanctioned the controversial Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline linking Russia to Germany by placing it under an embargo with its “complicated mix of politics and economics influences the Kremlin’s decisions.”
Helium will last us another 30 years. Since 2016, the United States produced the largest volume of helium worldwide. In that year, they produced 64 million cubic meters of helium, which was extracted from natural gas. Following the United States was Qatar, which produced 45 million cubic meters of helium.
Helium is used maximum in semiconductor production and medical facilities.