PDO explores utilisation of green hydrogen in its decarbonisation strategy

MUSCAT: Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), the nation’s biggest oil and gas producer, envisions a significant role for green hydrogen in its ambitious strategy to become a Net Zero energy company by 2050.

The majority state-owned company said it is pursuing opportunities for utilisation of green hydrogen potentially as an alternative to natural gas, as well as a zero-carbon fuel substitute in heavy transportation

“This aim is fully aligned with the national direction towards achieving net-zero emission status by 2050,” the company said. “We are currently focused on injecting H2e into the gas grid to “time-shift” energy production from solar power plants for gas-blending applications in gas turbines; and secondly, on replacing conventional heavy-duty vehicles with hydrogen fuel cell vehicles,” it stated in its newly published 2022 Sustainability Report. [Energy time-shifting involves the generation of electricity when it is available cheaply in abundance to be stored and used later when it is less abundant and expensive.

PDO is pursuing opportunities for utilisation of Green Hydrogen and is currently piloting green hydrogen technologies to demonstrate the viability of solar hydrogen production systems through water electrolysis processes to meet the company’s decarbonisation goals primarily for the hard-to-abate sectors.

This includes steam generation for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) based on the use of renewable energy to produce superheated steam – an initiative currently deployed as part of the pioneering Miraah solar project in Amal.

According to PDO, the plummeting cost of renewable energy has also enabled its potential deployment in hydrogen boilers, as well as electrical and molten salt heaters. Other opportunities for hydrogen use are being keenly explored as well, it stated.

Steve Phimister, Managing Director, commented: “We remain committed to building a sustainable and low-carbon future, not only to ensure our Company's long-term success but also to continue generating oil and gas revenue in a cost-effective, energy-efficient manner to maximise value for the Sultanate.

We remain intent on the use of low carbon fuels (such as hydrogen) in PDO’s operations, for example to replace the use of hydrocarbons in steam generation, for gas-blending applications in gas turbines and replacing conventional heavy-duty vehicles with hydrogen fuel cell vehicles,” he further stated.

Phimister also described as “landmark” an agreement signed by PDO with Oman Shell in May 2022 to jointly study Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) opportunities in Oman. As part of the MoU, Oman Shell and have PDO have agreed to broadly assess all aspects related to reinjecting and storing CO2 in Oman.

As part of its Decarbonisation Roadmap, PDO aims to derive 30 per cent of its power from solar and wind resources by 2025, rising to 50 per cent by 2030. To drive this transition, the company plans to procure a pair of wind power projects each of 100 MW capacity, as well as a new solar PV project, also of about 100 MW but with battery energy storage.

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