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Recently Released Report

Bureau of Land Management's Helium Program


This report presents the results of our audit of helium sales under the direction of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). BLM has a current inventory ofhelium valued at approximately $1 billion, and provides about 40 percent ofthe Nation's helium and 30 percent of helium to the world market. Without changes to the program, there is no assurance that BLM's nongovernmental helium sales occurring over the next 5 to 7 years will be made at market value.

Specifically, we found that BLM does not have the capability needed to identify and maintain market value prices for its helium reserve. The Bureau's long history of selling helium primarily to Federal buyers through a limited number of private refiners has restricted its ability to determine market value for its sales. High-technology uses have led to a rapid rise in helium demand in recent years, making the determination of market value for the Government's supply more critical. In addition, BLM is managing nongovernmental helium sales without the formal procedures needed to guide program operations. Our report makes three recommendations to strengthen the Bureau's management of its helium inventory.

View the complete report here.

Last Updated: 02/25/2013