Shell Joins Effort to Develop Hydrogen Hub in Norway
Energy industry giant Shell is joining a Norwegian effort to explore the development of a hydrogen hub on the west coast of Norway that could become a key early supplier of alternative fuels for the shipping industry. The project aligns with the Norwegian government’s recently detailed strategy to develop hydrogen and other resources to create long-term value from the country’s energy resources.
Earlier this year, Aker Clean Hydrogen and Aukra municipality entered into a cooperation agreement granting Aker Clean Hydrogen exclusive rights to explore and develop a project for the production of hydrogen, ammonia, and related products in Aukra. Norwegian oil and gas company CapeOmega had previously entered into an MoU with Aker Clean Hydrogen to explore the opportunity to develop the Aukra Hydrogen Hub and now the companies sign an agreement with AS Norske Shell to explore opportunities for the large-scale production facility for clean hydrogen using natural gas from the local gas processing plant at Nyhamna.
Shell is the operator of the Ormen Lange gas field on the Norwegian continental shelf, which has been in operation since 2002 and with 19 wells established Norway as the third-largest exporter of gas in the world, after Russia and Qatar. Gas from the wells is sent ashore in two pipelines to a plant at Nyhamna, for which Sell is the technical service provider. At the plant, they separate it into natural gas and condensate and the impurities are removed before the gas travels through one of the world’s longest subsea pipelines to the UK. Gas from Ormen Lange meets about 20 percent of the UK’s gas needs. The company is also an owner in the Northern Lights Joint Venture, a CO2 transportation and storage partnership.
“The Aukra Hydrogen Hub is well-positioned to becoming a key hydrogen hub for Norway going forward,” said CEO of Aker Clean Hydrogen, Knut Nyborg. In the spring he outlined a vision for a hydrogen plant in the region that will split the natural gas into CO2 and hydrogen. The CO2 will be permanently stored and the clean blue hydrogen could be used to decarbonize local industrial processes, as well as providing fuel for sea and road transport, and exported to European hydrogen consumers.
“This is an important milestone for us,” said Nyborg. “I’m very happy to have Shell onboard as a partner together with CapeOmega on this project, as all three partners have a strong connection to the Nyhamna terminal, and together we have got what it takes to develop, build and operate the Aukra Hydrogen Hub safely and cost-efficiently.”