September 17, 2020 Read More →

Oil companies see climate change benefits, potential profits in hydrogen transition

Bloomberg Green:

Hydrogen, long touted as the fuel of the future, had a bit of a coming-out party at this week’s S&P Global Platts Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference, as some of the world’s biggest refiners, drillers and traders extolled it as key to fighting climate change. The efforts are emblematic of an oil industry trying to reposition itself after the pandemic wiped out demand and as shareholders call for reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

“Hydrogen seems to be the most disruptive and has the potential to grow 10 times between now and 2050,” said Giovanni Serio, global head of research at Vitol Group, the world’s biggest independent oil trader. “It could be the one to solve the problem of storing energy and also addressing later the demand from the transportation sector.”

Nearly $11 trillion of investment in production, storage and transport infrastructure is needed for hydrogen to meet about a quarter of the world’s energy needs by 2050, according to BloombergNEF.

The fuel’s unique advantages include high energy density, flexibility of production sources and a wide range of applications, Vaidya said. It also emits no greenhouse gases when produced with renewable energy, although most current production is done via polluting methods.

China’s largest refiner, Sinopec, will integrate hydrogen into its retail fuel stations around Beijing. The country wants 1 million fuel-cell vehicles on the roads in a decade.

BP Plc. expects hydrogen energy production and green ammonia to be areas of growth, Eugene Leong, chief operating officer at BP Singapore Pte Ltd, said at the conference.

[Saket Sundria and Serene Cheong]

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