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EurOil: UK unveils hydrogen strategy

The UK has unveiled its greatly anticipated strategy for deploying hydrogen as a key low-carbon energy source, aspiring to create an economy for the fuel worth GBP900mn ($1.2bn) by 2030, expanding to as much as GBP13bn ($18bn) by 2050.

At the centre of the strategy released on August 17 is an effort to decarbonise energy-intensive and highly polluting industries such as chemicals, oil refining, power and heavy transport. The goal is to get these sectors to use hydrogen rather than oil and gas, with the government estimating that between 20% and 35% of UK energy consumption could be hydrogen-based by the middle of the century.

“Today marks the start of the UK’s hydrogen revolution,” UK Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said in a statement. “This home-grown clean energy source has the potential to transform the way we power our lives and will be essential to tackling climate change and reaching net zero. With the potential to provide a third of the UK’s energy in the future, our strategy positions the UK as first in the global race to ramp up hydrogen technology and seize the thousands of jobs and private investment that come with it.”

Critically, the strategy calls for a “twin track” approach favouring the use of both green hydrogen, produced from water using electrolysers powered by renewable energy, and blue hydrogen, derived from natural gas via steam methane reforming, with the resulting CO2 captured and stored in structures under the North Sea. The government envisages producing 5 GW of hydrogen by 2030.

In other news, first gas from Lundin Energy’s Rolvsnes oilfield off Norway has arrived at the St Fergus terminal in the UK, SAGE pipeline operator Ancala Midstream Acquisitions announced on August 20. Rolvsnes is the first of two satellite fields of the Edvard Grieg field that Lundin Energy plans to commission this year. Lundin announced first oil from an extended well test (EWT) at the field on August 10.

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