Belinda Perriman, a carbon emission reduction consultant within industrial and transport sectors, said the name is designed to combine hydrogen production “with some blue sky thinking”. The vast majority of hydrogen production (96%) is currently through natural gas, resulting in significant amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

In her presentation at COP27, she outlined how the process can be better integrated, stored and be more energy efficient, drawing on proven technologies.

“What if we could shrink down that circle dramatically – and instead of those emissions are created, you pipe them away, and permanently store them miles away from where they are produced? What if, right at the gas processing site, we put hydrogen production there too?

“And here’s the magic. Within a few minutes, the carbon dioxide produced in the manufacture of the clean hydrogen, could be put back down into the gas reservoir. That would increase pressure – but you could give wells a new lease of life, and provide them with a spring in their production profile. You might say ‘that’s bad, as you’re producing more gas’, but within a few minutes, we could put all the climate changing emissions down into the reservoir – and as a bonus, you’re doing something useful with that gas.”

Additional volumes of hydrogen could be produced using a strict ‘flares out’ approach, cutting methane emissions, and the concept could be scalable and replicated with “competitive pricing” compared with other forms of hydrogen.

Such a closed-loop concept could also appeal to other sectors, for example cement, which generates high emissions, she said.

Reinjecting CO2 into a closed, non-gas producing reservoir for storage has been extensively studied, and reinjecting it into a producing gas reservoir for storage and enhanced gas recovery has been done too, “but not often”. It opens up the prospect of sites not only being carbon neutral, but negative.

She said it was looking at exploring the concept with countries in the MENA region, in areas of suitable gas reservoirs, “to keep the industry and keep the jobs without causing climate change.”