Grand-rieu exploration license
The exploration license
Bibliographic research and preliminary field studies have been carried out in 2021 and 2022, as part of the H2NA research project. Partly financed by the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region, and in partnership with the French National Geological Survey (BRGM), UPPA (Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour), ENGIE, Storengy and CVA Group, the H2NA project studied the area’s potential for native hydrogen and defined the contours of an exploration license in a high-potential zone.
45-8 ENERGY, via its subsidiary 45-8 Grand Rieu, and Storengy have jointly filed a license application for a 266km² area in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques Département (64) with the French Ministry of Ecological Transition, which is currently being examined by the relevant authorities. The purpose of this application is to gain a deeper understanding of the geology of the area and confirm the potential for native hydrogen.
The granting of this exploration permit, and the subsequent validation of our hypotheses, would enable us to extract value from the native hydrogen and any associated gases. This potential production would encourage the use of hydrogen as a low-carbon energy carrier and contribute to the energy transition in south-western France.
The PER application has been submitted for a period of 5 years, in order to progressively acquire the necessary data to validate the hypotheses.
A solid partnership between 45-8 ENERGY and Storengy
The license application is being submitted jointly with ENGIE Group subsidiary Storengy, as part of a partnership that will enable both companies to leverage their respective expertise and resources.
45-8 ENERGY, through its subsidiary 45-8 Grand Rieu, is the project operator. It is coordinating all license activities and will be carrying out studies and works.
Storengy is a partner in the project. The company is contributing its technical skills to the studies and work to be carried out.
The license goals
Identify the location of hydrogen-generating rocks and understand the migration path of hydrogen to the surface or to geological structures where it may have accumulated.
Precise characterization of the area’s geology and the zones most conducive to hydrogen accumulation.
Quantify the volumes of hydrogen that could be stored in the subsurface, and assess the technical and economic potential, all with the utmost respect for the environment.
The permit area
The license area covers 266km² and involves 36 municipalities in the French Pyrénées-Atlantiques Département :
Ainharp, Angous, Aren, Aroue-Ithorots-Olhaïby, Arrast-Larrebieu, Barcus, Berrogain-Laruns, Charre, Charritte-de-Bas, Chéraute, Dognen, Domezain-Berraute, Espès-Undurein, Esquiule, Géronce, Geüs-d’Oloron, Gurs, Jasses, Lay-Lamidou, Ledeuix, L’Hôpital-Saint-Blaize, Lohitzun-Oyhercq, Lucq-de-Béarn, Moncayolle-Larrory-Mendibieu, Moumour, Oloron-Sainte-Marie, Orin, Poey-d’Oloron, Préchacq-Navarrenx, Roquiague, Saint-Goin, Saucède, Sus, Verdets et Viodos-Abense-de-Bas.
The native hydrogen
The license application is exclusively for native hydrogen.
Is native hydrogen natural?
Native hydrogen is produced naturally in the subsurface. As such, its formation requires no critical materials, no anthropogenic energy and no impact on available fresh water resources.
How is hydrogen formed?
Native hydrogen is formed by the transformation of a rock from the earth’s mantle, reacting with water as it seeps through faults. This process, known as serpentinization, generates a rock called serpentine, as well as native hydrogen.
Is native hydrogen a carbon-free resource?
Yes, because it is produced naturally in the subsurface, native hydrogen is a totally carbon-free resource. Its production would therefore make it possible to envisage low-cost, low-carbon production to serve the energy transition of the south-west and of France as a whole.
Why produce native hydrogen?
Native hydrogen has a role to play in the decarbonization of industry and mobility. This type of hydrogen could easily be integrated into the existing low-carbon hydrogen mix as a natural, decarbonized and competitive resource.
Is it possibIe to find other gases?
Indeed, other resources could potentially be associated with native hydrogen. Helium, for example, could be associated! In the event that other resources are found, 45-8 ENERGY’s ambition is to exploit all subsurface resources.
The work program
The key steps
Theoretical dates. The steps to follow will depend on how long it takes to process the application with the authorities.