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June 10-12, 2025
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Canadian Helium - Growth in the Industry - Global Energy Show

How the Canadian Helium Industry Will Help Canada Reach Net-Zero Targets by 2050

In recent years, the resource sector has been shifting its focus towards diversifying energy production to keep up with demand, while also addressing the climate crisis. Canada has added helium to its critical minerals list, with expectations of global demand for helium to increase in the coming years. The natural resources sector is currently looking for ways to explore the world’s helium reserves.  

Avanti Energy is one of the leading energy companies in the Canadian helium industry. The company is currently focused on helping create local jobs, furthering the helium production process, and discovering how the energy industry can shift to become more high-tech in the still early stages of helium production.  

Avanti Energy’s CEO, Chris Bakker, sat down with Rachel Gregory, Digital Host at The Global Energy Show, to discuss how his company is leading the industry. Avanti is working on finding helium in significant underground reserves, and working to become the solution for a greener future for Canada by showcasing how helium and net-zero energy can coincide. 

Global Energy Show - Chris Bakker, CEO, Avanti Energy

The Canadian Energy Industry and Helium 

Rachel: Chris, tell us about Avanti Energy. What do you do in the world of helium?

Chris: ​​We're a junior explorer, in the world of helium. In the past, helium often came as a byproduct of natural gas. In the last few years, there have been price incentives to go out and explore helium as a primary target. We've taken a group of seasoned oil and gas professionals and repurposed their skills to the helium market. So we're in the early days now of assembling a land package right now, a good portfolio, and we hope to be drilling in the next few months.

Sourcing North American Helium 

Rachel: Avanti focuses on extracting helium from non-hydrocarbon sources throughout Western Canada and Montana. Could you tell us more about this?

Chris: Helium is generally a byproduct of the natural decay of uranium, thorium, and that's found deep in the earth. Helium is a very small and light molecule that wants to rise and find its way to the atmosphere and outer space. As it rises, it passes through various strata in the Earth's crust and follows little pathways. There are certain places where it accumulates where there's a really tight layer of rock, similar to natural gas. 

We apply our geology and geophysics knowledge of regional structures and drill for it, in a manner exactly the same as natural gas, but what's different is that we don't have the large database that we do for oil and gas wells. There aren’t many tests for helium directly and not that many test wells to the depths we're looking for. 

We're redeploying those skills that we have. We've got some of the best people in the industry working for us, very proud of our team. We're taking the skills that they've built up in finding some of the best natural gas deposits in the world and applying that to this helium search that we're on. We're very excited about our future. We think we've put together some really interesting geologic models and linked that to our land acquisition.

Canadian Helium Demand 

Rachel: ​​​​Helium has been added to Canada's critical mineral list. What does this mean for the helium industry in Canada?

Chris: It highlights a need for the country. In the strategic direction of a country, it gives them that impetus to remove barriers where there are any to enact legislative regulation to encourage activity. It just happened in the last few months, and it also happened in the U.S. as well. 

There's recognition on both sides of the border that this is a critical element for a lot of high tech. The fact that it's on that list will help us a lot if we have to approach the government for some assistance. 

Demand and Price Influx for Helium 

Rachel: There has been a recent surge in Alberta as helium prices have been rising. What does this mean in Alberta, and how can investors take advantage?

Chris: A lot of the things we're good at and a lot of the things we have can be redeployed in this industry. That's very positive. 

What makes it unique in a way is that our activity level is completely independent of the oil and gas price cycle. We can take all those skills and equipment and just work in a completely independent fashion. It's a little more of a steady level of activity for the industry as a whole and an exciting frontier, I think, for our professionals.

How North American Helium Production Is Helping Canada Reach Net-Zero 

Rachel: Canada has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and achieving net-zero by 2050. How can helium help with that?

Chris: A lot of the growth areas are on the high-tech side. Things as basic or as common these days as semiconductors for computer chips are where they require a fair amount of helium to make, and fibre optics. 

There are the controls for the new power grids that need to be installed for green power. But you know, the next step past that are interesting things. We've heard recently that Tesla's using it to test the water-tightness of their batteries. Kind of down the road, with a bit of fusion reactor work, we can get across the technological hurdles there. They use helium to cool the fusion reactors as well. Liquid helium is one of the lowest points of liquidation and lowest temperature points. So if you need to cool something that's super, super hot to get it down, helium's a great product for that.

​​If we can get across the line on fusion technology, they're gonna need an awful lot of helium to keep those reactors operating and purging the atmosphere out of the manufacturing situation for leak testing. 

A lot of the really high-tech stuff that we look at right now, like physics, seems to operate very differently at ultracold temperatures. Things like quantum computing only work when you get these ultracold temperatures applied to them. An application of computing power might solve a lot of our energy questions as well. 

We're kind of supportive to a lot of high tech, if not directly part of it, in what you see in your hands day to day. You may not be exposed to the helium itself, but everything that led to that point has a helium story to it.

Rachel: Thank you so much, Chris. It was great chatting with you about Avanti Energy and the helium industry.

Learn More About the Future of the Helium Industry 

In order to reach net-zero, Canada will need to diversify and adopt new forms of energy. One way to achieve this goal is through supporting and investing in helium. 

Industry experts are still in the early stages of developing and producing helium across Canada and the U.S. However, there is no denying that with the helium demand growth, significant helium exploration is still to come, which will play a key role in shaping the future of energy. 

If you're interested in learning more about topics like the latest discoveries in helium and how it’s shaping the North American energy industry, register for the next Global Energy Show today.

Canadian Helium - Growth in the Industry - Global Energy Show

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