MUSCAT: An enlightening symposium dedicated to exploring the vast potential of hydrogen storage within the Sultanate of Oman was held on September 13. The event, sponsored by Green Hydrogen Summit Oman, in collaboration with Oman Hydrogen Centre featured Nasser al Rizeiqi, from the Department of Renewable Energy and Hydrogen of Oman’s Ministry of Energy and Minerals, shedding light on Oman's underground hydrogen storage capabilities. This symposium unveiled a promising future for Oman as a regional hydrogen hub, emphasising the significance of this clean energy source for global energy needs.

Oman's allure as a hydrogen storage destination stems from its geologically favourable attributes, such as abundant salt caverns and porous rock formations. These natural reservoirs offer secure and large-scale hydrogen storage options that can bolster renewable energy integration and carbon reduction efforts. Furthermore, this positions Oman as a pivotal player in the burgeoning hydrogen market.

Al Rizeiqi talked about his studies on hydrogen storage which have yielded profound insights into the potential of this clean energy source. His research suggests that hydrogen could serve as a viable solution to meet the world's escalating energy demands in the coming years. However, the key to realizing this potential lies in developing safe, cost-efficient, and compact hydrogen storage methods.

One of the primary focuses of Al Rizeiqi's research was to determine if Oman's geology held the technical potential for hydrogen storage. The investigation involved identifying suitable geological deposits in Oman and analyzing salt caverns for their suitability for hydrogen storage.

The findings from this comprehensive study are illuminating. Deep aquifers were deemed unsuitable for hydrogen storage due to factors such as the absence of large sedimentary basins and lack of prior project experiences. Depleted reservoirs require further study before deployment due to the absence of prior projects in this category.

In contrast, salt basins emerged as favourable candidates for underground hydrogen storage. Oman boasts substantial salt basins, and salt caverns have proven a track of securely containing hydrogen. The key criteria for assessing salt deposits include depth, salt thickness, and the size of salt dome. Notably, two salt domes, in Qarn Shamah and Qarn Alam were identified as having significant potential.

The symposium also featured Pascal Baylocq, CEO of Geostock, who shared valuable insights from the Hystories project. The Hystories project, a groundbreaking endeavour in underground energy storage, primarily focused on hydrogen and ammonia. Baylocq's discussion emphasised the importance of evaluating both the technical and economic aspects of these storage solutions.

The Hystories project sought to address the critical need for secure, efficient, and sustainable energy storage methods. Hydrogen and ammonia are emerging as key players in this arena due to their versatility and environmental benefits. Evaluating the technical and economic feasibility of these storage solutions is vital for their widespread adoption.

Oman's participation in discussions surrounding underground energy storage, particularly in the context of hydrogen and ammonia, underscores its commitment to innovation and sustainability in the energy sector. As the global demand for clean energy solutions continues to rise, Oman is positioning itself as a hub for cutting-edge research and development in this field.

The event was held at Grand Hormuz Muscat and moderated by Vivian Wood, Project Manager of Birba Energy Services. Abdullah al Harthy, Founder and Executive Chairman of Birba Energy Services delivered the closing speech and thanked all the organisers and participants in the event.

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