They were the pioneers of resource exploration, and now one of the world’s most reputable media outlets has compared oil wildcatters to those searching for naturally-occurring hydrogen gas.
As companies around the world, including Gold Hydrogen in Australia, focus on finding commercial deposits of hydrogen, media powerhouse Forbes says there are similarities to the oil industry’s early days in the 19th century.
“View them like oil wildcatters right now,” Doug Wicks, director of the U.S. Energy Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency, told Forbes, equating hydrogen hunters to traditional drillers scouting for petroleum in new fields.
Globally, he says the amount of geologic hydrogen may be “astronomical” based on how common the geologic conditions needed to generate it appear to be: Iron-rich pockets of water near tectonic rifts, located worldwide.
Potentially, “it’s 150 trillion metric tons,” Wicks said. “One billion tons would power the United States for a full year.”
Forbes said “big energy companies like Shell, BP and Chevron are joining a consortium created by the U.S. Geological Survey and Colorado School of Mines to study geologic hydrogen, but a handful of ambitious startups are already on the hunt.
“HyTerra and Natural Hydrogen Energy are preparing to drill for it in Nebraska and Kansas, and Gold Hydrogen is searching for it in Australia.”