Helium auction generates money that can come back to the local economy

Helium auction generates money that can come back to the local economy

Millions of dollars could be coming back to Amarillo due to helium sales.

Amarillo is one of only a few places where helium can be kept, making our city the number one producer in the country and this helps to generate money that can come back to the local economy.

Out of the over 30 million dollars that is sold at the auction the operating budget of the Borough of Land Management only makes up about 15 to 20 million. This means that the rest goes to the federal treasury and comes back to Amarillo when we need federal funding.

Robert Jolley the Field Manager for BLM says "Its important for folks to know that the Federal Helium Program here in Amarillo has been bringing back over $200 Million Dollars to the taxpayers, each year for the last 10 to 15 years."

Today's auction generated over 30 million dollars as nine businesses gathered in the Happy State Bank Auditorium to bid for 18 different lots of helium.

BLM auctioned off 300 million cubic feet of the 1.2 billion cubic feet they produce and it was sold for a reserve price of $100 for every 1000 cubic feet.

Jolley Also says, "in addition to selling it off and creating revenue for the american taxpayer, this was to ensure that the private industry was looking for new sources of helium."

This year BLM is required to sell 25% of their production with that jumping to 40% next year. 

Wednesday's auction was open to bidders world-wide and another sale is slated for next week that is only open up to companies that are contracted with BLM. This sale is expected to generate another $60 million.