Pre-feasibility study for an underground hydrogen storage demonstration

June 16th, 2022

R&D Focus Areas:
Underground storage, Techno-economic evaluation

Lead Organisation:



Start date:
December 2021

Completion date:
June 2022

Key contacts:

Beyond H2, CO2CRC, CSIRO

Project total cost:
AUD$1.2 million

Project summary description:
If hydrogen production does ramp up significantly in Australia over the next decade, then there will be a need for storage options to balance supply and demand, both for domestic purposes and for export. Once the storage needs in a single location exceed tens of tonnes, then underground hydrogen storage (UHS) becomes competitive for reasons of both cost and safety. The current commercial technology in this area is salt cavern storage, where the caverns are created by using the circulation of water via a deep well to dissolve salt. This depends on the presence of thick salt deposits (preferably several hundred metres), but in Australia this is limited to a few geographic areas, and so there is a need for other underground storage options, such as depleted gas fields, aquifers, and hard rock caverns.

This project, a partnership between CO2CRC and CSIRO, is a pre-feasibility study for a demonstration of underground hydrogen storage in a depleted gas field at CO2CRC’s Otway International Test Centre. The aim of this pre-feasibility study is to investigate the viability of UHS and understand the potential subsurface H2 storage processes.

For the sub-surface aspect, this will involve geological modelling, numerical simulation of the behaviour of hydrogen in the depleted gas field, and a preliminary assessment of the potential geochemical and microbiological interactions.

For the surface operation, this will involve an assessment of options for the supply and transport of hydrogen for the demonstration, the surface facilities needed, the well infrastructure, the legal and regulatory framework, and the social license.

Related publications and key links:
Not applicable

Higher degree studies supported:
Not applicable


June 2022