Black & Veatch studies extraction of natural hydrogen in Australia

Black & Veatch studies extraction of natural hydrogen in Australia

The company will provide concept designs for H2EX’s natural hydrogen and helium project

  • By ICN Bureau | March 17, 2024

Critical infrastructure solutions compay Black & Veatch will study the exploration and extraction of natural hydrogen and helium in Australia.

The development study is an engineering services agreement between Australian-owned natural hydrogen company H2EX Limited and Black & Veatch. The study is part of an Australian Federal Government-funded project led by H2EX.

The objective of the study is to unlock first-mover benefits for Australia within an emerging sector globally, as well as create substantial local and export opportunities while retaining the country’s competitive advantage and technical and engineering expertise.

 “Decarbonisation efforts in the Asia Pacific are a priority for Black & Veatch. This includes extracting natural hydrogen, a potential clean energy source for the region,” said Yatin Premchand, Managing Director, Strategic Growth, Global Advisory, Black & Veatch.

Black & Veatch has developed the first hydrogen power generation conversion project and the first major hydrogen fueling station deployment in the United States.

Black & Veatch will provide two concept designs on H2EX’s exploration license PEL 691 on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia as part of the development study. One concept design will be for the drilling and completion of an exploration well. The other concept design will be for surface facilities to purify, process and deliver natural hydrogen and helium, including co-production of the resources, if they are found together.

“We are pleased to partner with a technically progressive and experienced global engineering services firm like Black & Veatch. This important development study will help H2EX fast-track our first exploration wells and development scheme. If successful, hydrogen will be a great source of energy for power generation and transport on the Eyre Peninsula,” said Mark Hanna, H2EX CEO & Managing Director.

“Natural hydrogen will help decarbonise the region, which predominantly uses liquid fuels for energy and transport. Helium is also a high-value and scarce commodity. Recent drilling in South Australia has found high concentrations of helium, too,” added Hanna.

Black & Veatch will analyse gas industry practices related to conventional well drilling and extraction infrastructure and identify key considerations to adapt these practices for natural hydrogen and helium.

The research into extraction solutions will provide a pathway to drill and extract the lowest-cost hydrogen, which could be up to 75 percent more cost-effective than manufacturing hydrogen.

Natural hydrogen, also known as gold or white hydrogen, refers to hydrogen found in its natural form as a free gas.

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