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Delayed Montana Oil and Gas Lease Sale Hinders Helium Supply

A proposed federal oil and gas lease sale in Montana, including parcels with potential helium prospects, has been postponed due to concerns that new lease laws were not being followed. Environmental groups pointed out that leasing laws rewritten in 2022 were not being adhered to, leading to the withdrawal of the parcels by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The delay raises concerns about helium supply and production, especially in north-central Montana, where helium prospecting has been increasing in recent years. The lack of lease sales and compliance with regulations may impact helium availability for scientific research, medical technology, manufacturing, and national defence.

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