WA-based oil and gas producer ADX Energy (ASX: ADX) has commissioned German consulting firm Horváth & Partners to complete a study into the potential usage of already-depleted reservoirs at ADX’s Gaiselberg and Zistersdorf oil fields in Austria’s onshore Vienna Basin for hydrogen storage.
First acquired in late 2019 for $3.5 million, the fields have been identified for their depth, pressure, sealing capacity, productivity, well coverage and fluid contents which have been considered “excellent candidates” for future hydrogen storage.
They are believed to be suitable for hydrogen storage due to their proximity to major renewable electricity sources which can be used for renewable hydrogen production; the availability of high-quality reservoirs at suitable depth; and the presence of established gas export infrastructure which can be used to transport green methane (produced by the conversion of green hydrogen and carbon dioxide into methane).
Horváth’s study will comprise a pre-feasibility assessment to support the establishment of a profitable hydrogen business model which positions ADX as a provider of large-scale hydrogen and green gas underground storage facilities.
The first phase will seek to utilise the firm’s hydrogen and green energy network and project experience to build partnerships with major green energy providers such as the wind power operators adjacent to Zistersdorf and Gaiselberg.
Joint venture agreements with these providers would help access European Green Energy Transformation funding to establish the technical viability of underground storage at the fields and confirm ADX as a certified participant in Europe’s rapidly-expanding energy storage market.
In the anticipated second phase of the study, ADX and Horváth will establish a detailed business and financing plan for the large-scale expansion and establishment of a profitable and growing energy storage and green gas business which may be linked to carbon dioxide sequestration.
ADX executive chairman Ian Tchacos said the possibility of utilising depleted fields for renewable energy storage could add significant value to assets which would otherwise become an abandonment liability.
“The ability to redeploy [these] fields potentially adds value to our existing hydrocarbon assets through increased profitability and life extension,” he said.
“The business case for hydrogen [storage] is very compelling in Austria where there is a confluence of rapidly-increasing green energy production, proactive government policy and large European financial incentives.”
He said the proposed business model could also potentially be applied to exploration, production and storage licenses in Upper Austria’s prolific Molasse Basin where ADX secured a ready-to-drill portfolio of appraisal opportunities last November.