Re-Stream: Study on the reuse of oil and gas infrastructure for hydrogen and CCS in Europe

28 Oct 2021

In the European Green Deal, the EU has set itself the ambitious target of achieving climate neutrality by 2050, with an intermediate target of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030,  compared to 1990 levels. The ambition of the EU increases the necessity of decarbonizing the industry, energy and transportation in Europe. Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and carbon-free energy carriers based on hydrogen are technologies which could significantly contribute to achieving the EU goals. Both CCS and large-scale hydrogen usage require transportation infrastructure. Reusing existing oil and gas infrastructure can lead to more cost-efficient deployment of CCS and hydrogen technologies and limit the costs of achieving EUs climate ambitions. The aim of the Re-Stream study is to provide fact-based elements to this statement and to identify relevant infrastructure and define what technical adaptations and investments would be required to unlock its potential for reuse for both CO2 and 100% H2.

Note that for smaller H2 production and for existing gas pipelines, there is also a potential for blending of H2 in the natural gas network in the early phase of the H2 economy development. This is however not the focus of this study and is only briefly discussed in section 3.3.

65 pipeline operators participated in the Re-Stream study, providing data that could be analysed within the Re-Stream project for approximately 58,000 km of pipelines (+24,200 km assessed by operators themselves as suitable for H2 reuse) representing half of the total offshore pipeline length and approximately 30% of the onshore oil and gas pipelines.