IGas announces two hydrogen schemes in Surrey

IGas has unveiled plans to produce hydrogen from methane at two of its sites in Surrey.

Albury gas site in Surrey. Photo: IGas

One is the Albury gasfield, near Guildford, in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The other site has not yet been named.

IGas said hydrogen production would help the UK meet its net zero target in carbon emissions. It would, the company said, provide a clean source of fuel and heat for homes, transport and industry.

Opponents of hydrogen from unabated fossil fuels said the process produced large amounts of pollution and contributed to climate change.


IGas has launched an online exhibition on the Albury proposals.

IGas’s spokesperson said the consultation would last for three weeks and a planning application was expected in early to mid July.

The location of the second site was “still up for discussion”, the company told DrillOrDrop. It said there should be a firm answer in “the next couple of weeks”.

The IGas spokesperson confirmed that the second site was operated by the company and a consultation on it would be launched “in a few weeks”.

Hydrogen production

Photo: IGas

Production of hydrogen from methane releases carbon emissions.

IGas has previously said it would produce grey hydrogen – made from fossil fuels without carbon capture and storage (CCS).

Asked today whether a planning application would include onsite CCS, the IGas spokesperson said:

“We are actively exploring both storage and/or utilisation but have not finalised our concept and are talking to technology suppliers and potential end-users. 

“The UK Government’s Hydrogen Advisory Committee has announced that they are working on a standard to define what constitutes low carbon hydrogen, and we await that guidance and will factor that into our thinking on potential approaches.”

Hydrogen produced at Albury would use steam methane reformation (SMR), IGas said.

This takes methane and reacts it with steam to produce a mixture of hydrogen and carbon dioxide (CO2).

The hydrogen produced would be “ultra-pure”, the company said, and could be used in electrical fuel cells to replace diesel in large vehicles. IGas estimated the release of about 3kg of CO2 was avoided for every litre of petrol or diesel displaced from transport.

The company said the CO2 released would be “the same amount as if the gas were burnt in a boiler or gas engine”. It added:

“The overall environmental emissions (even accounting for the CO2 released as part of the SMR process) are reduced because there are no diesel-combustion-related bi-products of NOx [nitrogen oxide], Sox [sulphur dioxide], or other harmful particulates, which constitutes a significant environmental improvement.”

IGas said hydrogen produced at Albury would be transported off the site by road. The production process would generate daily journeys by four heavy goods vehicles and four light goods vehicles, it said.

The company said all plant and equipment would be “fully containerised and contained within the existing fenced compound” at Albury. This would “further reduce the potential for visual harm as viewed from the wider area”, it added.

IGas’s spokesperson said the SMR generator would be 7.6m tall, with a 10.9m flue:

“The visual impact of this new equipment will be minimal as the site is currently bounded by a 2m high security fence, and woodland on all four sides at heights averaging between 20m and 25m.”

Surrey sites

IGas estimates that about half of its current oil and gas production is from the Weald Basin.

The UK Onshore Geophysical Library lists six IGas exploration and production licences in Surrey.

They include wells at Albury, Bletchingley, Godley Bridge, Palmers Wood, Lingfield and Bramley.

Of these, only Albury is listed by the Oil & Gas Authority as a gas production site.

But gas has been found at one of the Bletchingley wells and IGas estimated in 2016 that production there would be up to 34,000m3 a day.

According to an IGas report, a well drilled at Godley Bridge has an economic presence of gas in the Portland sandstone.

Almost two years ago, IGas announced plans to drill two exploration wells in the Godley Bridge licence (PEDL235). But a public consultation event, planned for later that summer, was cancelled and the project suspended. At the time of writing, IGas’s website described Godley Bridge as a development project.

“Hydrogen no justification for oil and gas expansion”

Last year, the Weald Action Group, a network opposing hydrocarbon developments in southern England, argued there was no need to make hydrogen from fossil fuels.

In a briefing paper, it said blue hydrogen – hydrogen produced from fossil fuels with carbon, capture and storage – was “still a pipe dream”. It said the UK was unlikely to have sufficient CCS capacity in the coming decades to reach net zero by 2050. It also said CCS itself was carbon intensive.

Author Ann Stewart said:

“Instead of using yet more fossil fuels with their devastating impact on the climate, hydrogen can be made from water, with very low emissions. There is absolutely no justification for producing more fossil gas, in the Weald or elsewhere.”

14 replies »

  1. “Naomi Seibt is a German climate change denier. Until April 2020, she was employed by the Heartland Institute, an American conservative and right-wing public policy think tank that marketed her as the “anti-Greta”. Wikipedia”
    Brilliant, Martin. How appropriate!
    I see you now accept that climate change is happening. Good. We’re moving forward. Next step – is it anthropogenic?
    Which sort of dogma are you talking about? The sort that considers the burning of fossil fuels a major contributor to global warming? ‘Dogma’ has become a disparaging word, used by deniers to cast doubt upon an opposing position. Pity…it started off differently.
    I think most of the antis, as you call those who disparage such continuing reliance upon fossil fuels, are happy with physics and arithmetic. We are familiar with your arithmetical theories, but I at least am unsure where my physics differs from yours, at least in areas which are relevant. Do tell.
    However, your English leaves a great deal to be desired. I mention this only because this obscures any meaning you may intend. I should be interested, for example, in what you mean by your Trump word – ‘fake’, which, as is the case with Trump, occurs repeatedly in your postings. The word in common usage has, I believe, a sense of a deliberate attempt to deceive using mendacious material. It has probably lost some of this sense now, however, through ill-informed overuse. I think you may find ‘erroneous’ or ‘false’ more useful terms, except of course that you might be expected to demonstrate how the points made are erroneous or false.
    And please, the banning of fossil fuel development should mitigate global warming, not ‘mitigate against’ it. You are confused – don’t worry, such things happen to us all – confusing ‘mitigate’ with ‘militate against’, as in ‘the development of domestic fossil fuels militates against any attempt to put the brake on global warming’. Unimportant, I know, in the scheme of things, and, in your favour, usage is changing even though based upon error.
    Not quite the same, but I think you mean ‘accept’ rather than ‘except’ in the last sentence of the same posting – just a typo, I’m sure!
    However, this is not the place for an English lesson, although you seem to be asking for one
    I hope you will take your quotation to heart.
    I think what you are trying to say in your penultimate set of ramblings is – those scientists with whom I in my infinite wisdom disagree are ipso facto defying the laws of mathematics/arithmetic and physics and therefore are not scientists. I can see a few promising careers here are at risk, depending on Collyer approval.
    So I am still part of the problem. I’m flattered. Do let me know when it ceases to be the case that I am a problem for you.I shall then know that the polluters really are winning.
    Last word to you as ever: I know you love it.

  2. [Edited by moderator] interesting you point out yourself that you can select a quote from those you prefer whilst trying to deny the voice of those you don’t prefer. I prefer the sentiment of thinking not panicking.

    However, an interesting deflection away from the subject.

    The subject that still remains is that local sourcing is better for the environment, and much better for products that are used 24/7 (12.57am!!)

    That is where the arithmetic and physics come in, 1720, and you are unable to counter that without trashing the definition of transfer. That is just fake news. So, your English lesson is as confused as all other areas.

    Also: The problem and my problem are quite different uses of English . Now accept is an incorrect use of English also. It just means you have not read my ancient offerings, and have thus come to a false assumption. Or, you have read my ancient offerings, but thought you could distort them to try and make a point. But, the now remains fake. Just the same as plonking fracking into a non fracking situation is fake.

    Perhaps lessons are not required when correct answers are produced?

    “Why do you keep correcting me, teacher?”

    “Because you keep getting it wrong! ”

    And, it is just wrong to try and make the case that locally sourced oil is not better for the environment than imported oil. (Except it is quite good for those who are not consumed by dogma to see to what lengths of fakery some will go to try and defend the indefensible.)

    So, keep up that contribution, 1720. As I stated before, not too many people risking their integrity to join you, but the more load you take on this, and 12.57am is a pretty heavy load, the more you promote something!

  3. PS.

    If you prefer your Greta to your Naomi, I wonder which one was angry about those countries (especially UK) who export their carbon footprint. Well, it was not Naomi!

    So, I accept all common sense. Maybe the only bit I have heard from Greta, but still valid.

    These carbon footprints tend to be much bigger over the horizon if the same level of scrutiny is applied. And then you have to add all those little footprints to bring it over the horizon to where it is consumed. Then, of course, one could look at the cost, human and financial, of securing that big footprint over the horizon-or the costs when not secured. Or the costs when the footsteps stumble on the way. Greta made a valid point. Good. If she studies a bit more then another one may come along for me to embrace. Not sure the protestors at the G7 campaigning as Surfers against Sewage will be so easily convinced of common sense, though.

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