Gazprom Neft to move into developing hydrogen technologies

Gazprom Neft to move into developing hydrogen technologies

Hydrogen is not currently an end product for Gazprom Neft, but, rather, a process agent in oil refining. The company has, since 2015, been working on projects involving carbon dioxide capture and oil-reservoir reinjection to maintain reservoir pressure and increase oil recovery. Technologies of this kind are now being successfully utilised at the NIS Rusanda field in Serbia — a joint venture between Gazprom Neft and the Serbian government. Hydrogen is one of the most promising energy sources of the future, and a potential alternative to fossil fuels — it is environmentally friendly, and has high energy intensity per kilo, emitting approximately four times more energy than gasoline, when burned.

Approximately 95% of all hydrogen worldwide is currently produced from natural gas, oil, and coal. This releases considerable volumes of carbon dioxide, however. Reducing the carbon footprint here could be helped by oil and gas companies developing carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies. Hydrogen production methods will become more environmentally friendly in the future: “green hydrogen”, for example, will be produced through water electrolysis of renewable energy sources, without CO2 being released into the atmosphere. But making the move to viable green hydrogen production is going to be a gradual process. Oil and gas companies — in improving technologies for producing hydrogen from natural gas — are expected to play an important role here.

“Russia has enormous potential for occupying a commercial niche in the global carbon emissions trading market. We have, already, put in place a process chain for carbon dioxide capture, storage, transportation and geological disposal. We see ourselves as a centre of competence in these areas, and are willing to make the experience we have built up available to the consortium. Added to which, we are ready to offer our partners organisational support in technology scouting, project expertise, and monetisation.” – Director for Technological Development, Gazprom Neft Alexey Vashkevich.

“Developing hydrogen production technologies is one of the Gazprom Neft Industrial Innovation Centre’s key activities. Our company’s refineries already produce more than 100,000 tonnes of hydrogen for our own needs, and we are looking for new solutions. The main requirements here are using available raw materials, and zero CO2 emissions. The centre is currently getting ready to undertake laboratory tests in several areas, deployment of which will make it possible to supply ‘turquoise hydrogen’ to our own refineries and, going forward, to organise supplies of this gas to meet new energy and industry needs.” – Director, Gazprom Neft Industrial Innovations Centre Mikhail Nikulin.

Reference

The Hydrogen Technology Valley consortium was established in Russia in November 2020, on the initiative of various universities and the Russian Academy of Sciences, supported by government agencies and industrial companies. In addition to Gazprom Neft, the consortium’s other partners include major Russian companies such as SIBUR, Russian Railways, Severstal, Transmashholding, Rosatom, TMK and others.

The key regions in which the consortium is expected to operate are the Samara, Sakhalin and Tomsk Oblasts, as well as the city of Chernogolovka, outside Moscow. The first pilot projects in hydrogen energy are expected to appear in these locations as soon as 2022, together with specialist educational programmes for training engineers and researchers.

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