Gazprom Neft joins Russian hydrogen alliance
Russian oil producer Gazprom Neft has joined a consortium of Russian companies and academic institutions aimed at developing technologies for hydrogen's production and use, the company reported on August 3.
The Council of Industrial Partners at the Hydrogen Valley consortium was set up in November last year and comprises academic organisations led by the Russian Academy of Sciences, as well as various commercial entities including petrochemicals firm Sibur, Russian Railways, steel maker Severstal, locomotive manufacturer Transmashholding, nuclear energy group Rosatom and pipemaker TMK. The group plan to focus their work on development in the regions of Moscow, Tomsk, Sakhalin and Samara, aiming to launch their first pilot projects next year.
Gazprom Neft already produces some 100,000 metric tons/year of so-called grey hydrogen at its refineries in Omsk and Moscow, although this is used as a refining feedstock rather than an energy source. But the company estimated it could increase this to 250,000 mt/yr by 2024, producing it from natural gas and using carbon capture and storage to make the process clean.
This blue hydrogen can help reduce emissions while costs for green hydrogen produced via electrolysis come down. Gazprom Neft said it could employ the expertise it has gained in storing carbon underground in Serbia, where it reinjects by-product CO2 at oilfields into reservoirs to maintain pressure.
Gazprom Neft signed a memorandum of understanding with Severstal in June on developing hydrogen energy to reduce emissions from its metallurgical operations. While set up to serve as the oil production arm of state-owned Gazprom, Gazprom Neft announced last year it was transitioning from an oil-focused to an oil and gas-focused company, estimating that the share of gas in its total output would reach 45% by 2026.
The Russian company is also preparing to launch Russia's first LNG bunkering vessel later this year.