We’ve reached a substantial milestone as we get closer to attempting to prove that natural hydrogen deposits exist in areas of South Australia.We’ve signed multiple land access arrangements for our test drilling program, including, most significantly, the site of the historic Ramsay Oil Bore 1. In case you don’t remember, way back in 1931 occurrences of natural hydrogen at 89% purity were recorded at the bore, which was drilling for oil at the time. With new appreciation of the value of hydrogen in our carbon-focused world, being able to ‘twin’ the original well is a big tick for us. We are now at procurement phase for drilling, testing and ancillary equipment for the first well and remain optimistic of that testing beginning later this year. Encouragingly, the multi-year land access arrangements that have been agreed provide us with a range of locations to test but there is no doubt the Ramsay Oil Bore 1, near Minlaton on the Yorke Peninsula, is our first priority. We recently held our first series of public consultation meetings in the area and were heartened by the understanding and support of the locals. That understanding is part of a global trend. For instance, a recent report from London-based corporate financial advisory firm Clota Varde is an excellent case in point. (Note it talks of white hydrogen, which is what gold hydrogen is known as in the Northern Hemisphere). In a report to clients, it said: “Naturally-occurring white or ‘geological’ hydrogen is perhaps the least understood form of hydrogen. “It was long thought to be extremely rare and therefore ignored as a potential energy source – however, recent exploration projects have shattered this historical misconception, finding flows of white hydrogen all around the world, from Africa and Brazil to Canada, the USA, Europe and the UK.”
Graph supplied by Clota Varde
Clota zeroed in on natural hydrogen’s potential in heavy industries, which produce about a quarter of the world’s emissions.“It is becoming evident that white hydrogen is the only truly clean hydrogen form that can compete with fossil fuels, as its production is less expensive, less carbon intensive and less energy intensive than green and blue hydrogen. “White hydrogen is therefore expected to disrupt the hydrogen sector in the coming years and is likely to be a vital tool in the transition to a carbon neutral world.” Comments like that give us great encouragement and should reassure our backers they have joined us at the right time. We are on track to be the first company in Australia to prove the natural hydrogen phenomena.