Hydrogen Storage in European Subsurface

Selection of aquifers or depleted fields for pure hydrogen storage: a new (under)ground

Experience in pure hydrogen storage in porous media or aquifer is yet to be built


There is industrial experience for pure hydrogen storage stored underground in salt caverns: storage has been undertaken since 1972 in Europe (at Teeside, UK), only a decade after the 1st natural gas cavern started operating in the USA.

There is industrial experience for storage of hydrogen mixed with other gases in depleted fields or aquifers. Historically, manufactured gas was produced in the 19th Century and the first half of the 20th Century. It is also referred to as town gas or water gas. It typically contained 30%–50% hydrogen and was used for heating and cooking until its replacement by natural gas. At least 6 aquifer storages and 1 depleted field have been operated. All in Europe, and all now decommissioned or used for natural gas storage.

There is to date no industrial experience in storage of pure hydrogen in depleted oil and gas fields or aquifers. There is, therefore, no state-of-the-art criteria to select a site among possible candidates.

One of Hystories’ objectives was to help bridging the gap. Notably building on its experience for selecting a natural gas storage sites, Geostock identified a set of parameters required to assess if aquifers and depleted hydrocarbon fields have potential for hydrogen storage. This is to be used to assess regional performance in terms of capacity (volumes) and deliverability (storage performance in injection and withdrawal) for pure underground hydrogen storage.

Results are detailed in the Hystories report D1.1-0 Definition of Selection Criteria for a Hydrogen Storage Site in Depleted Fields or Aquifers