Saudi Arabia to use $110bln Jafurah gas field for making hydrogen

Jafurah is the largest unconventional non-associated gas field in the kingdom, with a length of 170 kilometres

  
Hydrogen powered mobile unite is seen during Saudi Aramco's media trip to demonstrate Hydrogen automotive technology at Techno Valley Science Park in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, June 27, 2021.

Hydrogen powered mobile unite is seen during Saudi Aramco's media trip to demonstrate Hydrogen automotive technology at Techno Valley Science Park in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, June 27, 2021.

REUTERS/Hajer Abdulmohsin

Saudi Arabia's energy minister Energy Abdulaziz bin Salman said at a conference in Riyadh that majority of gas from the kingdom's $110 billion Jafurah development will be used to make blue hydrogen, Bloomberg reported.

In the production of blue hydrogen, the carbon dioxide released is captured and stored.  

The comments from the energy minister followed Saudi crown prince's statement on Saturday that the world's top oil exporter aims to reach "net zero" emissions of greenhouse gases, mostly produced by burning fossil fuels, by 2060.

Saudi Arabia, the biggest oil and gas producer in OPEC, is vying to become a blue hydrogen and ammonia exporter as part of its green energy transition plans.

“We are the biggest adventurers when it comes to blue hydrogen. We’re putting our money where our mouth is.. on hydrogen. We have a terrific gas base in Jafurah we will use it to generate blue hydrogen,” Bloomberg quoted Prince Abdulaziz as saying.

Saudi Aramco is exploring opportunities to export hydrogen. The oil giant's chief technology officer Ahmed al-Khowaiter hopes by 2030 to have enough hydrogen market demand for the company to cater to it at a world scale.

According to BloombergNEF, a market for hydrogen barely exists today, but could be worth $700 billion annually by 2050 if producers can bring down costs.

Saudi Arabia can make the world’s cheapest green hydrogen, Bloomberg reported citing Prince Abdulaziz. Green hydrogen is produced by using clean electricity from renewable energy sources.

The kingdom's zero-carbon city Neom in July signed a JV with New York-listed Air Products and Riyadh-based ACWA Power to create the world's largest green hydrogen project at $5 billion. It is expected to produce about 1.2 million mt/y of ammonia by 2025.

It will produce 650 tonnes per day of green hydrogen by heating water using renewable energy, as well as 1.2 million tonnes per year of green ammonia for exporting the hydrogen to the global market by 2025. Ammonia releases no carbon emissions when combusted in a thermal power plant.

Jafurah is the largest unconventional non-associated gas field in the kingdom, with a length of 170 kilometres, a width of 100 km and estimated volume of 200 trillion cubic feet of rich raw gas, according to Saudi Aramco’s website.

(Writing by Seban Scaria; editing by Anoop Menon)

(seban.scaria@refinitiv.com)

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