Whilst there is a clear need for oil and gas in a 2050 net zero environment, it is IGas’s intention to play an important role in the UK's energy transition. The Company’s strategy is to diversify into the wider UK energy market whilst leveraging its core competencies as a UK onshore operator.
There are considerable growth opportunities for IGas as we continue to look at ways of maximising returns from our existing operations and engineering expertise, repurposing our extensive infrastructure and seeking to high-grade potential opportunities for other forms of energy, including electricity generation and storage.
In October 2020, we announced a partnership with BayoTech, a leading technologies business in hydrogen generation systems. We have identified existing sites where the gas resource can be reformed into hydrogen which will then be sold to local or national customers.
Developing Hydrogen as part of the Net Zero Ambition
The UK Government acknowledged with its “Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution” that Hydrogen has a key part to play in the energy transition, providing a clean source of fuel and heat for our homes, transport and industry.
Because of its abundance in nature, hydrogen for use as a fuel source can be generated in a number of ways. The most common of these is a process known as Steam Methane Reformation (SMR). Invented in the 1930s and produced on an industrial scale at large centralised facilities such as refineries since then. Due to the centralised nature of its manufacture, users of hydrogen in the South-east of the UK have to get it trucked in from one of four manufacturing facilities either in the North-West, North East, or South Wales or from European manufacturers. This involves travelling large distances, which adds to the costs, and carbon footprint. These shipping costs, and the complexity of transporting hydrogen over long distances has consistently hampered the scale up of use of hydrogen by consumers and industry.
Recently the SMR technology has been miniaturised so the reforming units can be fitted within shipping container sized facilities and deployed at distributed locations much closer to the point of use.
The process involves taking the raw feedstock (methane) and reacting it with steam to produce a pure supply of hydrogen, which will then be suitable for use in vehicle fuel cells. In this process, the carbon dioxide released is the same amount as if the gas were burnt in a boiler or gas engine. As this will happen at one location (in this case, our site), rather than the hundreds or even thousands of different locations where the gas might otherwise have been burned, it offers opportunities for us to capture and use it in beneficial ways, or to store it.