Geologists discover giant field of underground helium in Tanzania

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Geologists have discovered a gigantic new field of underground helium gas, located in Tanzania’s Rift Valley.

Researchers figure there’s about 54 billion cubic feet of helium in just one section of the valley. To put that in context, the Federal Helium Reserve in Texas, which supplies more than 40% of domestic helium needs and contains about 30% of the world’s total helium supply, right now holds about 24.2 billion cubic feet, per Live Science.

The discovery is also important in that it wasn’t an accident. The geologists located the helium based on their theories of where they should find it.


  • Mitch S.

    Nice that you also report the lighter side of the news!

    (Sorry, I couldn’t help it)

  • Matt in AZ

    Is cubic feet enough of a measurement for helium? Shouldn’t pressure matter as well?

  • pzatchok

    No wonder Lucy was in the sky with diamonds.

  • enginemike

    This is great. Tanzania will get rich, the world will be saved, and the politically correct will get to bemoan Big Helium.

    Something for everybody.

  • Dick Eagleson


    Gaseous natural resources have their quantities expressed in cu. ft. – or cu. meters – at an assumed standard temperature and pressure so that the figures have comparability. The actual pressure at which the helium exists underground is irrelevant.

  • Matt in AZ

    Thanks, Dick, that totally answers my question!

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