A recent workshop between the United States and Oman explored the potential for producing hydrogen from Oman’s unique geology. The workshop brought together government, industry, and academic experts to share information and ideas about geologic hydrogen, and to explore new partnerships between the two countries.
Geologic hydrogen is hydrogen that is generated naturally through geologic processes. It is thought to exist in large quantities in the Earth’s subsurface. If it can be produced at low cost and at scale, it could be an entirely new, carbon-free energy source.
Oman’s Samail ophiolite is a geological formation that is particularly well-suited for the production of geologic hydrogen. The ophiolite is rich in serpentine, a mineral that can release hydrogen when it is exposed to water and heat.
During the workshop, workshop participants witnessed the phenomenon of hydrogen bubbling up out of springs of water in the Samail ophiolite. This is a clear indication that geologic hydrogen is present in the area.
The workshop concluded with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Oman’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources and Eden, a DOE/ARPA-E awardee. The MOU outlines a plan for Eden to explore and produce geologic hydrogen in Oman.
The workshop was the first bilateral engagement on geologic hydrogen ever held anywhere. It is an important step towards developing a new clean energy source that could help accelerate the energy transition.
If the production of geologic hydrogen can be commercialized, it could have a significant impact on the global energy landscape. Geologic hydrogen could be used to decarbonize a wide range of sectors, including transportation, industry, and power generation.
The development of a geologic hydrogen industry could also create new jobs and economic opportunities. According to a study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the US geologic hydrogen market could create up to 300,000 jobs by 2050.