SRC has formed the Natural Hydrogen Study Group (NHSG) to research all aspects of the occurrence and exploration for Natural (“Gold”) Hydrogen in a variety of geological settings. NHSG is made up of experts in the fields of petroleum exploration, minerals exploration, petrophysics, geophysics and metamorphic geology. Building on expertise gained in the minerals and conventional oil & gas sectors, we are investigating how well established, science-led exploration techniques can be applied to play-based screening and evaluation approach to locate natural hydrogen occurrences.

Members of the NHSG (Steve Lawrence, Owain Jackson, Richard Heath and Ian Hutchinson) are pleased to be working with industry experts and the Geological Society of London to convene a new conference ‘Natural Hydrogen: A New Frontier for Energy Geoscience’ to be held at Burlington House in June 2023. The conference will address how geoscience can be applied to the exploration for and harnessing of natural hydrogen, including play models, hydrogen habitats, similarities and differences with other natural resources, exploration techniques and ways to detect and measure natural hydrogen.

NHSG (Owain Jackson) presented a paper entitled Hydrogen Systems in Continental Sedimentary Basins at the AAPG Europe Regional Conference in May 2022, see https://erc.aapg.org/2022/ for further details. The Abstract for the paper is available here: Lawrence et al. Abstract

A paper ‘Greenstones as a source of hydrogen in sedimentary basinshas been accepted for the Geological Society Conference: ‘The impacts of volcanism on sedimentary basins and their energy resources’, 8-9th Sept. 2022. The Abstract for the paper is available here: Hutchinson-Greenstones

NHSG will also be presenting a talk Exploring Africa – this time for hydrogen, at the HGS-PESGB Africa Conference: ‘The future of G&G in Africa’s E&P Skills, Transition & Resources’, to be held on 26-28th Sept 2022.

NHSG’s current research directions include:

Serpentinisation

  • Controls/Limitations on the reaction (and therefore volumes of hydrogen generated)
  • Water throughput in Protolith
  • Water access to Protolith

Greenstones Protoliths

  • Occurrence/Distribution
  • Composition, ultrabasic rock-types, olivine distribution, metamorphic grade
  • Structure

Evaluation of Hydrogen in wells

  • Detection of hydrogen in wells drilled for hydrocarbons
  • Evaluation of potentially hydrogen-bearing tight and faulted/fractured ‘reservoirs’
  • Investigation of availability of wells with log suites in basins with known or potential hydrogen

The photograph includes members of the NHSG on a helicopter assisted field trip to investigate possible occurrence of natural hydrogen in Mali.

The photograph includes members of the NHSG on a helicopter assisted field trip to investigate possible occurrence of natural hydrogen in Mali.
Helicopter assisted fieldwork, Mali