H2RESTORE: Feasibility of underground hydrogen storage in existing gas fields in the onshore Otway Basin

November 2nd, 2023

R&D Focus Areas:
Underground storage

Lead Organisation:
Lochard Energy

CSIRO, Worley, Schlumberger Australia


Start date:
February 2024

Completion date:
September 2025

Key contacts:
H2RESTORE Project Lead (Lochard Energy): Rod Harris rod.harris@lochardenergy.com.au
Principal Reservoir Engineer (Lochard Energy): Jacqui Sutton jacqui.sutton@lochardenergy.com.au
Senior Research Scientist (CSIRO): Jonathan Ennis-King Jonathan.Ennis-King@csiro.au

Lochard Energy – AUD$4.27 million
Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) – AUD$2 million – Advancing Renewables Program (feasibility study support)

Project total cost:
AUD$6.27 million – feasibility study (as supported by ARENA)

Project summary description:
Underground hydrogen storage can provide a safe and effective way to store larger quantities of hydrogen, in order to stabilize the energy system against fluctuations in supply and demand over longer periods of time. Existing and depleted gas fields are attracting attention and research effort around the world.

This project will investigate the feasibility of underground storage in existing gas fields in the onshore part of the Otway sedimentary basin and specifically in the Waarre Formation. Amongst the existing gas fields being screened for a potential pilot project are the McIntee, Lavers and Croft fields. Preliminary field and laboratory work involving microbial sampling and analysis has already been conducted by Lochard Energy and CSIRO.

In March 2024, ARENA announced an award of AUD$2 million to Lochard Energy (Lead Organisation) to support undertaking a feasibility study that will investigate the commercial and technical viability of storing renewable hydrogen in existing gas reservoirs in Southwest Victoria.

Key activities that will be undertaken as part of the feasibility study include:

  1. seek to gain further understanding of subsurface conditions, assessing the safety and technical viability of large-scale underground storage of hydrogen in porous media (sandstone)
  2. concept designs of renewable hydrogen production and power generation facilities will be developed
  3. community and stakeholder engagement, and environmental approvals pathway, including site identification, water supply source confirmed, and
  4. development of the economic model, capital cost refinement and input optimisation to inform the commercial viability of the techniques and processes tested.

Related publications and key links:

Higher degree studies supported:
Not applicable


Reviewed: April 2024