Abstract Recent, pre-downturn, disturbance in the global helium market can be traced to the tight supply–demand position, which characterizes today’s changing helium supply structure. A detailed System Dynamics model provides fresh insight into the helium question and suggests a production path that is closely associated with future natural gas production. Venting of un-extracted helium to the atmosphere remains a central issue. The model indicates that improving resource exploitation strategies might extend a production plateau that emerges in the 2030s. Substitution will result in more helium being vented. To mitigate this, the industry needs to ensure security of supply (particularly after the Bureau of Land Management reserve is sold).