LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa., April 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Air Products (NYSE: APD), the global leader in helium production, continues to take actions to improve future helium supply reliability for its customers. Today Air Products announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Russia-based Gazprom Export LLC that confirms Air Products' long-term plans to purchase helium from Gazprom.
Gazprom intends to start development of its major natural gas resources in Eastern Siberia and plans to implement large-scale helium production from the helium-rich gas feedstock in the Blagoveshchensk region beginning in 2018. Beyond the purchase of helium, the MOU also indicates Air Products' interest in working with Gazprom on logistical, technical, and production facets of the overall project.
"Our focus on reliable helium supply to our customers is priority one for Air Products and working with Gazprom would further diversify our helium source portfolio. This MOU is the latest in a series of actions we have taken to better position ourselves in meeting increasing customer helium demand. We will continue to look for other helium source opportunities where we can participate as a buyer, an investor, and operator," said John Van Sloun, general manager – Worldwide Helium at Air Products.
"Through careful planning of the extraction, transport and storage facilities for the new and ambitious East Siberian helium project, it will primarily ensure these helium technologies will capture this scarce gas for flexible supply and strategic helium storage creation. We hope that our partnership with Air Products will help Gazprom Group in developing these vast resources in terms of global growth of helium demand," the deputy Chairman of Gazprom's Management Committee and General Director of Gazprom Export, Alexander Medvedev said.
Van Sloun also added that Air Products' new, jointly-owned liquid helium production plant near Big Piney, Wyoming is scheduled to be onstream in 2013. The facility will process natural gas from the Riley Ridge Field in Wyoming, one of the largest helium-rich natural gas fields in the United States. The Riley Ridge field is believed to contain sufficient helium reserves to support production for decades.
Air Products has pioneered many of the helium extraction, production, distribution and storage technologies used in the industry today. Air Products maintains the world's largest helium production and distribution system and operates numerous facilities around the world.
Helium is used in many unique and valued applications including: magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); lifting for high altitude scientific research balloons, blimps and party balloons; fiber optics and semi-conductor manufacturing; metallurgy; breathing atmospheres for deep diving or unique blood gas medical mixtures; analytical chemistry; pressurizing and purging pipes, vessels, and other critical equipment; leak detection; and other advanced applications.
About Air Products
Air Products (NYSE: APD) provides atmospheric, process and specialty gases; performance materials; equipment; and technology. For over 70 years, the company has enabled customers to become more productive, energy efficient and sustainable. More than 20,000 employees in over 50 countries supply innovative solutions to the energy, environment and emerging markets. These include semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, coal gasification, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives. In fiscal 2012, Air Products had sales of approaching $10 billion. For more information, visit http://www.airproducts.com/.
About Gazprom Export
Gazprom Export — a 100% subsidiary of OAO Gazprom, acts as the export arm of Gazprom for natural gas but also for oil, petroleum products, helium and gas extraction by-products.
Gazprom Export supplies "blue fuel" to more than 20 countries. Its major partners are companies from Germany, Turkey, Italy, France and Poland. Gazprom Export is one of the most successful and advanced Russian companies.The size of Gazprom Export's export earnings largely fills in Russia's budget revenues. In 2011, the volume of natural gas exports to far-abroad countries amounted to 150.0 billion cubic meters.
The company carries out the marketing of gas in new markets, optimizes export flows, and analyses and forecasts the natural gas market trends. Participates in the development and implementation of Gazprom's gas and energy investment projects in Russia and abroad. Gazprom export works out the marketing and logistic scheme of the Helium business for the future facility in the East of Siberia to be commissioned by the end of this decade.
For more information, see Gazprom Export online at http://www.gazpromexport.com
NOTE: This release may contain forward-looking statements within the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on management's reasonable expectations and assumptions as of the date of this release regarding important risk factors. Actual performance and financial results may differ materially from projections and estimates expressed in the forward-looking statements because of many factors not anticipated by management, including risk factors described in the Company's Form 10K for its fiscal year ended September 30, 2012.
SOURCE Air Products