Blue hydrogen will be the leading application driving deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, delegates heard at the 24th World Petroleum Congress (WPC) on Wednesday.

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As proponents of CCS face open questions related to scaling the technology and the sectors that are most suited to be first in deploying carbon sequestration infrastructure, speakers at the Congress said industries that offer a clear investment case and offer value generation would be preferred candidates.

“It will be industries that generate value that will go first [in adopting CCS],” said Rayad Alharbi, senior specialist at the Saudi Ministry of Energy, adding that blue hydrogen — produced from natural gas with CCS — will be the leading target application in the first wave of carbon capture market growth.

“Blue hydrogen will be the first to take on CCS. Other [industries] will join subsequently based on the value [proposition] of those projects,” he said, at the Congress in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Others also see the hydrogen sector as a prime target for CCS infrastructure.

According to Peter Findlay, CCUS director at consultancy Wood Mackenzie, blue hydrogen will become the “dominant industry source” for CCS by 2033.

Wood Mackenzie forecasts total capture capacity will rise more than sevenfold to 370 million tonnes per annum of carbon dioxide in the next decade, from less than 50 million tonnes in 2022. The largest portion of this would originate from blue hydrogen production.

The ramp-up in that timeframe would require investments worth $150bn, Findlay told WPC.

According to Alharbi, CCS is now seen primarily as a method to reduce emissions in industry, but this perspective limits its potential to drive growth in new businesses including hydrogen and synthetic fuels.

“If we’re keeping CCS only as a decarbonisation tool, we’re not unlocking the full potential of the technology [as] enabler of new energy vectors, such as hydrogen.

“Now CCS is seen as a decarbonisation lever; in the future it will be an investment opportunity,” he said.

A version of this article first appeared in Hydrogen Insight's sister publication, Upstream, which covers the oil & gas industry.