Gold Hydrogen has added another skilled executive to our ranks as we get closer to on-site exploration for hydrogen gas in South Australia.

We announced to the ASX this week that Dr Josh Whitcombe has been made the company’s Chief Operating Officer. He takes up the position from July 1, a few months before we expect to be drilling our initial exploration well at the flagship Ramsay Project in South Australia.

Dr Josh Whitcombe, COO from 1 July 2023.

It’s obviously a crucial time as we attempt to prove hydrogen deposits exist in commercially viable amounts on the Yorke Peninsula and Dr Whitcombe’s skillset is exactly what we need at this time.

He was most recently the Chief Operating Officer of WestSide Corporation. He commenced his career with Shell International, drilling offshore developments in the North Sea, before moving to coal seam gas exploration and development in Australia, initially with Santos.

Prior to returning to WestSide, Dr Whitcombe was the Chief Operating Officer at Blue Energy, an ASX-listed CSG exploration and appraisal company.

With his oil and gas experience, he knows what a special opportunity the Gold Hydrogen project is.

“Being the first company in Australia to prove large hydrogen deposits exist underground, which could make a significant contribution to the drive to carbon zero, would be a major accomplishment,” he said.

It was a big part of the attraction of the role. “It is unique – hydrogen has a low carbon footprint, it has relatively cheap extraction costs, and a low on-site environmental footprint.”

Those sentiments continue to gain momentum internationally – the Wall St Journal the latest to focus on natural hydrogen.

Republished in The Australian this week, it said about gold hydrogen: “From Australia to the Pyrenees, geologists are hunting for underground hydrogen and predict a subterranean energy boom is only a few years away.

“Unlike industrial methods of producing hydrogen that require electricity, so-called geological hydrogen occurs by natural processes deep underground, energy experts say.

“The resulting hydrogen gas can be extracted by traditional drilling methods. Drilling firms and geologists say they have found underground hydrogen coming from old gas wells, seeping from unusual circular surface features known as “fairy circles” in Australia, North Carolina and Brazil, or bubbling up from cracks in the Earth known as mid-ocean ridges.

“Michael Webber, professor of energy resources at the University of Texas, said hydrogen was ‘a cheap, clean, abundant resource that is a game-changer for the global economy and for climate change. So it is pretty exciting’.”

Again, it shows we really are at the forefront of an international movement.