Equinor considers US hydrogen, CCS opportunities
Norway's Equinor has agreed a preliminary deal with United States Steel to study carbon capture and storage (CCS) and hydrogen development in the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, the companies said on June 29.
Hydrogen is pitched as a solution for decarbonising energy-intensive industries like steel manufacturing. If produced from natural gas, the resulting CO2 emissions can be captured in order to make the fuel low carbon.
"Hydrogen-based steel processes and CCS are among the more promising and sustainable technologies currently being developed," US Steel said in a statement.
Equinor produces gas in the Marcellus and Utica formations of the Appalachian basin. It is also spearheading Norway's Northern Lights CCS project in the North Sea, and is participating in several schemes to produce hydrogen from gas in the UK.
"A hydrogen and CO2 hub in the Appalachian basin, utilising the region's natural gas resources while capturing and safely storing the emissions, would be an important tool to meet the future energy demands of domestic industry within the US ambition to achieve net-zero by 2050," Equinor's US country manager, Chris Golden, commented.
Under the memorandum of understanding they signed, Equinor and United States Steel will undertake feasibility studies to assess regional hydrogen and CCS potential, screen third-party customers and suppliers, and advocate for policies that support blue hydrogen, CCS and potential synergies with renewable energy, the companies said.
US energy secretary Jennifer Granholm said in May that hydrogen served as a way for the oil and gas industry to contribute towards greenhouse gas emissions.
The interest in US hydrogen comes after Equinor scaled back its conventional operations in the country last year through the sale of its interests in the Bakken formation for $900mn.