OPINION: Equinor and Norwegian gas system operator Gassco face challenges if their very early stage plan to potentially build a giant pipeline to transport blue hydrogen to continental Europe is to ever see the light of day.
Norway has an abundance of natural gas, while the country is currently developing carbon capture and storage projects — essential for blue hydrogen production — such as the Northern Lights scheme.
Oil and gas companies in Norway are also exploring the possibility of producing hydrogen from natural gas nearer to end users in Europe, such as the Equinor-led Zero Carbon Humber project in the UK.
The European Union’s aim to be climate neutral by 2050 is a cause for some concern in Norway.
According to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2020, the Nordic nation is the third-largest gas exporter in the world — behind only Russia and Qatar.
To date, around half of the resources on the Norwegian continental shelf have been sold and delivered, with about 25% of the estimated resources on the shelf still to be found.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate estimates that Norway has about 8 trillion cubic meters of extractable natural gas remaining.
Oil and gas companies will be keen to avoid seeing their huge resources on the shelf becoming stranded amid the energy transition.
Export of blue hydrogen could be a potential solution, but only if it proves to be technically achievable and commercially attractive.
(This is an Upstream opinion article.)