The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia revealed its intention to employ one of the largest natural gas projects in the world in the production of blue hydrogen, as part of the Kingdom’s intensification of its efforts to export a fuel considered vital in the transition to green energy.
A large proportion of the gas produced from the $110 billion Jafurah field project will be used to produce blue hydrogen, according to statements by Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman. It is produced by converting natural gas and capturing carbon dioxide emissions.
Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said during a climate conference in Riyadh on Sunday: “We are the most daring in terms of producing blue hydrogen, and we are not just talking, but we are investing money to develop this sector. We have a huge natural gas base in Jafurah and we will use it to produce blue hydrogen.”
The Jafurah project also focuses on the kingdom’s shift from its previous strategy of becoming a source of liquefied natural gas, a fuel that is less polluting than oil and coal, but some governments have said they will stop using it in phases.
There is little to no market for hydrogen at the moment, but it could be worth $700 billion a year by 2050, if producers can cut costs, according to Bloomberg NEF estimates. Aramco expects to start exporting blue hydrogen in large quantities after 2030.
Saudi Aramco is considering allowing foreign investors to invest in the Jafurah field in the east of the country, according to a report published by Bloomberg last month. According to informed sources, the largest oil company in the world is currently working with a consulting agency to study raising capital or borrowing to develop this large site.
The reserves of the Jafurah field are estimated at 200 trillion cubic feet of gas, and Aramco expects to start production in 2024.
The kingdom also intends to sell green hydrogen, which is produced using renewable energy sources – usually solar and wind energy – via a carbon-neutral process.
What about Saudi Arabia’s plan to reach zero carbon emissions by 2060?
On Sunday, Prince Abdulaziz said that Saudi Arabia can produce the cheapest green hydrogen in the world. It was revealed late last year that his country wanted to be the largest exporter of both blue and green hydrogen in the world.
The government will increase the gas supply in the local market as well. It aims to stop the use of oil in power plants by 2030, and for half of the country’s electricity production to depend on natural gas. The rest of the energy mix will depend on solar and wind energy.