The global intergovernmental organization of leading natural gas producers, The Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) acknowledged the “significant” role to be played by blue hydrogen production from natural gas, coupled with carbon capture or CCUS technologies in the world’s transition to a sustainable energy future.
GECF Secretary-General Mr. Yury Sentyurin highlighted the potential and the significance of blue hydrogen production during the special virtual event ‘Blue Hydrogen Strategy’.
The most popular method of hydrogen fuel production is green hydrogen which is obtained from renewables but is sub-scale (lower economies of scale). Meanwhile, blue hydrogen is produced from natural gas after pairing with carbon capture.
Speaking about the viability of blue hydrogen, Mr. Steinar Eikaas, Equinor’s Vice President for Low Carbon Solutions stated that “looking at the alternative of blue hydrogen, it builds on natural gas and we already have this technology in place and the network to carry this volume is in place, for example through pipelines for natural gas.”
While the cost of production of blue hydrogen, which produces a fuel that is is completely carbon dioxide-free, is 50-100% above natural gas production, the model is significantly cheaper to produce compared to the cost of green hydrogen production which is 2-5 times above blue hydrogen.
“When it comes to the type of hydrogen, blue hydrogen has advantages simply because the infrastructure already exists and the oil and gas industry has the investment muscle,” Mr. Eikaas stated.
Referring to the Global Gas Outlook 2050, the GECF Head of Energy Economics and Forecasting Department Mr. Dmitry Sokolov remarked that the forum developed a dedicated scenario called the “Hydrogen Scenario”, the results of which suggest blue and green hydrogen to dominate the future of hydrogen production.
“According to the results of the scenario, almost half of the produced hydrogen will be sourced from natural gas by 2050, in the form of blue hydrogen. It is also forecasted that more than 10% of the total natural gas production in 2050 will be consumed by hydrogen,” Mr. Sokolov added.