Mena states are increasingly shifting their focus to hydrogen to future-proof their energy industries amid the accelerating energy transition. The oil and gas giants of the GCC typically attract the most focus as their abundant energy resources are coupled with the deep pockets required to finance capital-intensive projects, but North African states with existing gas pipelines to Europe also enjoy a strategic advantage which could see them emerge as early winners.

Although there remain some doubts as to whether low-carbon hydrogen can be cost competitive against natural gas, Opec’s flagship World Oil Outlook 2021 released this week (MEES, 1 October) devotes considerable column inches to the fuel – much more than the 2020 edition did. The report states that “in the context of the energy transition, hydrogen is also emerging as a solution to many challenges, playing the role of energy carrier as an alternative to fossil fuels. Furthermore, the fact that hydrogen is a chemical product is very attractive as a means to aid massive energy storage.” (CONTINUED - 2150 WORDS)