It goes on if you want to read more.Specialty Gas Report: So much has been written about the helium shortage recently. Has the media been getting the story right?
Phil Kornbluth: Only partially, I'm afraid. Certainly, the helium shortage has received lots of publicity. Everyone who has anything to do with helium is aware that there is a shortage. However, much of what has been reported is of dubious quality, with a fair amount of misinformation tossed in.
It seems that members of the media will speak to anyone who answers the phone and is willing to answer their questions, regardless of whether that person is really qualified to do so. There are probably only five or ten folks in the industry who have a broad understanding of the subject, and every one of them, including me, has some gaps in their knowledge. Also, many of the reporters do not bother to check their facts or even have enough technical background to put the helium supply story in the proper context.
I have accumulated a file of some ridiculous statements in print, such as: "The world's supply of helium will be totally depleted by 2015," when in fact, the person who provided the information to the reporter was referring to the sale of the U.S. government's helium stockpile, which contributes less than one-third of the world's supply. Of course, there is no mention in those articles of the significant new sources of helium that are expected to begin production before 2015.