Photo: Courtesy of Santos

Santos commissions Cooper basin hydrogen study

Australian LNG player Santos has commenced a concept study on decarbonising Cooper Basin natural gas at its source to make “blue” hydrogen.

Santos commissions Cooper basin hydrogen study
Courtesy of Santos

The concept study has been awarded to GHD, Santos said in its statement.

Santos managing director and chief executive officer Kevin Gallagher said that carbon dioxide produced can be safely and permanently captured and stored in the same reservoirs that the gas came from.

“The Cooper Basin hydrogen concept study builds on our progress towards the 1.7 million tonne Cooper Basin Carbon Capture and Storage Project for which Santos is targeting a final investment decision later this year, subject to a CCS methodology being approved for the Emissions Reduction Fund,” Gallagher said.

He noted that carbon capture and storage (CCS) is the fastest and most efficient route to a hydrogen economy, using less water, de-carbonising natural gas at its source and eliminating Scope 3 emissions.

“CCS enables the capture of carbon dioxide from the production of blue hydrogen, making it a ‘zero-emissions’ fuel.

Gallagher said the development of blue hydrogen from natural gas in combination with CCS will be critical in the transition to a low-carbon future.

GHD’s CEO Ashley Wright said that hydrogen could play a significant role in decarbonising industries and this project is a potential game-changer for the gas sector.

Santos’ proposed Moomba CCS project in South Australia would capture the 1.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide currently separated from natural gas each year at the Moomba gas plant and reinject it into the same geological formations that have safely and permanently held oil and gas in place for tens of millions of years.

“With the Cooper Basin’s reinjection capacity assessed at up to 20 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year for 50 years, it has the potential to de-carbonise energy at its source,” Gallagher said.

Santos and GHD aim to complete the concept study by the end of 2020.

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