Saudis Demand Hydrogen Enthusiasts Back their Hype with Money

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From Watts Up With That?

Essay by Eric Worrall

“… we will not sanction a project without securing an off-take agreement.”.

Aramco Weighs LNG Exports as Hydrogen Talks Prove Tough

May 11, 2023

Aramco weighs LNG exports as hydrogen talks prove tough. 

Saudi Aramco is weighing exports of liquefied natural gas instead of blue hydrogen, as talks with potential buyers of the latter fuel prove tough.

Yet existing technology means blue hydrogen could cost the equivalent of around $250 a barrel of oil, Aramco’s chief executive officer said.

Amin Nasser, for blue hydrogen said on a call with analysts:

It is very difficult to identify any off-take agreement in Europe.

“Even the customers in Japan and Korea are waiting for government incentives. Until they get these incentives, it’ll be costly for them to pursue that blue hydrogen.

“This is a very expensive program,” Nasser said. “It’s a lot of capital and you need customers. So we will not sanction a project without securing an off-take agreement.”

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Blue hydrogen is produced from fossil fuel, but the CO2 is supposed to be buried via carbon sequestration.

I wish our politicians were smart enough to wait until there is an actual demand for product, before blowing billions of taxpayer dollars on building infrastructure to produce hydrogen which nobody genuinely wants.

As for the Saudis, I suspect they will eventually embrace the low risk option of exporting low cost natural gas to countries with hydrogen programmes, so those who claim to support the hydrogen economy can also carry the financial risk of building the infrastructure.

The Saudi position seems crystal clear and rational. It’s tough to justify building expensive climate friendly hydrogen facilities, when despite all the noisy hype, nobody genuinely wants the product.