“Industry analysts had hoped the Russian plant at Amur, which could have produced up to three times the world’s annual helium consumption, would help ease the world’s recurrent helium shortages. But whenever the plant reopens, US-led economic sanctions punishing Russia for its invasion of Ukraine will make it tricky for Gazprom to sell helium outside of Russia and China.

To exacerbate the problem, two of the three helium plants in Qatar, which produce about a third of the world’s helium supply, shut down for routine maintenance in February and March, and although they are back online now, the effects are still being felt.”