Framework for Enabling Large-Scale Hydrogen Storage in Underground Reservoirs

A new project will evaluate potential pathways for large-scale underground hydrogen storage and provide recommendations on organizing a field pilot program. The Framework for Enabling Large-Scale Hydrogen Storage in Underground Reservoirs project aims to provide insights into the operational aspects of a geologic hydrogen storage test site. Leveraging experience from previous underground natural gas and storage projects, the work will evaluate probable costs as well as potential process and contamination risks relevant to the most viable candidates to achieve adequate stored energy in an efficient, safe, and cost-effective manner. Project efforts are expected to begin in 3Q 2022.

While underground storage of natural gas is a mature technology that is deployed globally to provide energy security, there are only a few underground hydrogen storage facilities in the world serving limited geographic regions and specific industries with limited storage capacities provided by salt caverns. Globally, only 8% of the underground storage capacities are offered by salt caverns while 80% reside in porous rock formations. Thus, the geological storage of hydrogen in porous rock formations, including depleted oil and gas reservoirs, is the key to achieving large-scale and long-term storage capacities. However, key differences in natural gas and hydrogen storage, including volumetric energy density and potential in-situ geochemical reactions have led to greater underground storage challenges for hydrogen.

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