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The Role of CCS and Hydrogen in the Energy Transition

Oil & gas industry experts readily explain the efficacy of making hydrogen from natural gas coupled with geo sequestration, commonly referred to as “blue hydrogen”. What’s often missed is details on how the cost of producing blue hydrogen is substantially lower that using electrolysis, commonly referred to as “green hydrogen”.

Engineers point out there is enough storage capacity in oil and gas fields, and saline aquifers in the world to store two centuries of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emission. This is safe, affordable, and means hydrogen can be produced at half the cost of electrolysing water.

Often light on facts, debate is bubbling about whether hydrogen produced by electrolysing water is any “greener” than “blue” hydrogen produced from natural gas. Subject matter experts suggest that advocates for green hydrogen do not count the true environmental cost of electrolysing water.

Dr Hon-Chung Lau, a Society of Petroleum Engineers Distinguished Lecturer is touring Australia explaining to SPE meetings that there are essentially five paths to achieve zero carbon. They are renewable energy, carbon capture and storage (CCS), hydrogen, nuclear energy and reducing energy demand. How each country will utilise these ways to go through the energy transition will depend on its specific energy mix and the need to balance energy security, affordability and sustainability. His seminars show how CCS and hydrogen are key to achieving net-zero while satisfying that energy triumvirate. Dr Lau presents several case studies of large-scale CCS demonstration projects in Europe and Asia and discusses what is needed to take CCS to the next level of implementation.

In its annual federal budget submission, the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) contends that without carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS), achieving net zero emissions by 2050 will be “virtually impossible”. The CSIRO agrees.

The International Energy Agency in its paper Hydrogen-An Analysis predicts that both will contribute to the hydrogen economy with of the 180 million tonnes of hydrogen expected to be produced in 2020, 58% will cfo0me from fuels of which half will be coupled with carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCS).

Dr Lau will present his paper on, “The Role of CCS and Hydrogen in the Energy Transition,” in the SPE Distinguished Lecturer series in the following locations:

17 February – Adelaide

20 February – Melbourne

21 February – Brisbane

22 February – Sydney

See for more information.


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