Sunday, January 13, 2008 - U.S. helium supply is deflating - U.S. helium supply is deflating: "In 1925, the U.S. government began buying helium and stockpiling it in an abandoned natural gas field in the Texas Panhandle, primarily to use in dirigibles, airships widely used before 1940. It decided to get out of the business almost 70 years later when private sector uses began dwarfing its own.

'It's estimated there is about 22 billion cubic feet left in the reserve last year, and last year we sold about 2.1 billion cubic feet,' Stuart said. 'When you consider the reserve supplies 45 percent of all U.S. supplies and about one-third worldwide, that's significant.'"