About a month out from the first test drilling of Gold Hydrogen’s natural hydrogen tenement in South Australia, the company has started to ramp up communication with locals.

Recently, managing director Neil McDonald had his first interview with one of the region’s main players, the ABC Adelaide Morning show. Host David Bevan showcased a number of questions from listeners that will help the company understand the education process it needs to go through.

Listeners were intrigued by the possibility of finding a near zero-carbon energy source based off 100-year-old drill results from old oil plays.

Listener Neville said: “I’m very very interested in what you are talking about.” It was a sentiment shared by another listener, Freddie, who offered congratulations.

Most questions indicated, as we’ve found elsewhere, that people just want to understand the natural hydrogen concept better.

A text question was predictable: “Do you use fracking to extract hydrogen?”

Answer: No, we don’t anticipate needing to frack, or use the local water resource in the process.

Neville asked: “How do you measure a kilogram of hydrogen when it’s lighter than air?”

Answer: Hydrogen is compressed, and when it’s in a bottle like your BBQ bottle, that is how it is weighed.

Freddie asked: “How deep are the wells (going to be) on Yorke Peninsula?”

Answer: The drilling that was done 100 years ago found significant traces of hydrogen in the 200-600m range. Gold Hydrogen believes that down to 850m is the optimum level for drilling, which is quite shallow.

Chris wanted to know: “How is natural hydrogen in the ground, is it under pressure, is it like natural gas?”

Answer: The historic results showed it was under pressure, similar to how natural gas shows. But we won’t know how much pressure until we do our own drilling.

Andrew pointed out that South Australia has two significant glass manufacturers that use a lot of energy, but would use too much of the state’s power resource if they were to totally electrify.

Response: Natural hydrogen is increasingly being used to help heavy industries and heavy transport, to help them move towards net zero without having to electrify. This is the ideal end game for us.

The most sceptical question was from Greg: “I suspect this is another ploy to keep the methane/natural gas industry going longer. Electrifying everything is the way forward.”

The key point to make here is that natural gas is a fossil fuel, a hydro carbon. Whereas gold hydrogen occurs naturally through the interaction of water and rock.

What’s wrong with producing pure, up to 90% pure hydrogen, out of a well that’s zero emission?

Listen to the full interview above.