EAGE Short Course Monday

Exploration of Subsurface Natural Geologic Hydrogen and Stimulation for its Enhanced Production

Room 10


10 June 2024

CPD Points




Dariusz StrńÖpońá


The course will discuss and compare carbon footprint versus price of the full palette of different sources of hydrogen. Material include comparison of energy output per mass and per volume among all major fuels with H2. All industrial (e.g., electrolysis) and natural sources and generating mechanisms (e.g., serpentinization, water radiolysis, etc.) and corresponding association with other gases (He, CO2, N2, CH4) as well as consumption fluxes (e.g., microbial utilization) will be described. Global occurrences and seepages of natural H2 will be presented along with worldwide ongoing and planned exploration activity. 

Geologic setting of the only H2 production field in Mali will be discussed. Series of challenges associated with natural H2 exploration and production will be discussed in detail, including: natural H2 systems differences and analogues to petroleum systems, drilling and logging associated challenges (i.e., degassing and analyzer techniques, drillin Рinduced artificial H2 generation), downhole sampling and transportation (e.g., steel embritlement), safety issues (flammability and explosivity), and finally storage capacity challenges (comparison to methane diffusivity and column height versus capillary force, salt caverns). 

The natural and stimulated H2 systems require novel reactive transport and geologic systems modeling efforts. Current status of such modeling adjustments for H2 will be also discussed.

Further, strategies of stimulating natural hydrogen (orange H2) subsurface will be discussed. The enhancement of natural H2 generatio and production rates include physical (various fracturing and production scheme methods) and chemical (e.g., catalysts, etc.). The main challenges associated with subsurface stimulation will be also presented, e.g., decay of reaction kinetics, fluid movement and removal of gaseous products. The landscape activity and research initiatives in the orange H2 space will be also updated. As related topic, helium exploration will be also touched upon, as in certain scenarios this gas can be associated with natural H2.

Net Zero and Carbon Neutral Concepts Net Zero Emissions Goals Weather neutral long-term strategy.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of the course, the participants will be able to:
  1. Differentiate types (colors) of all hydrogen types.
  2. Understand the natural reactions subsurface that generate (or remove) H2.
  3. Be aware of global geologic H2 exploration activity and of associated challenges.
  4. Understand the concepts around stimulated (orange) H2 in the subsurface.

Course Outline

I.    Introduction to H2 types and sources
II.    Occurrences, origins of natural H2 and typical geologic systems
III.    Global exploration activity on example of their geologic setting
IV.    Challenges of H2 exploration, drilling, transport and storage
V.    Orange H2 Рconcepts, challenges and efforts
VI.    H2 systems modeling in white and orange scenarios
VII.    Natural Helium
VIII.    Summary points and take home message

Participants’ Profile

The course is designed for anyone interested in new decarbonized energy resource study and development, students, post docs, geologists, geochemists, industry researchers, start ups, investors, government officials.


Basic understanding of geology or subsurface geochemistry. None really, as the course will start from a high level introduction.
08:00Departure from conference center Messe Wien
09:00 ‚Äď 09:20Safety introduction ITC
09:20 ‚Äď 10:50ITC / TECH Center & Lab
10:50 ‚Äď 11:00Group exchange
11:00 ‚Äď 12:30ITC / TECH Center & Lab
12:30 ‚Äď 13:30Lunch at the ITC event area
14:30Arrival back at conference center Messe Wien