Tallgrass Energy Partners and Equinor ASA are studying the production and market potential for large-scale hydrogen and ammonia projects, along with associated distribution infrastructure, across the United States.

Under a memorandum of understanding, Tallgrass and Equinor agreed to initial co-development activities, which include funding of a front-end engineering and design study. The research would focus on large-scale hydrogen production, incorporating a way to capture a minimum 95% of the carbon dioxide (CO2) for permanent sequestration. It also would explore ammonia’s for transportation and storage.

“The magnitude of annual emissions reductions from our potential regional energy centers equates to eliminating the CO2 emissions of over one-third of the total automobiles on the road in states as populous as Colorado, Arizona and Massachusetts,” said Tallgrass segment president Dustin Bashford. “It is this type of meaningful decarbonization that we are committed to rapidly advancing.”

Equinor’s Grete Tveit, senior vice president for low carbon solutions, said the joint initiative was  in line with the roadmap to become carbon neutral by 2050. “It builds on complementary experience in both companies and the common aspiration to take a leading role in the global energy transition.”

Tallgrass already is exploring CO2 transportation options in the Lower 48. The midstreamer, which owns the Trailblazer Pipeline Co. LLC and Rockies Express Pipeline LLC (REX), wants to abandon the Trailblazer system and repurpose the infrastructure for CO2 transportation. Under the plan, natural gas flows from Trailblazer would be routed onto REX, which wants to construct various pipeline infrastructure to accommodate the gas.

Tallgrass filed plans for the abandonment project with federal regulators in May. If approved, Trailblazer and REX estimate the conversion project could be completed in early 2024.

Likewise, Equinor is teaming with Shell plc and U.S. Steel Corp to advance decarbonization opportunities in the Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia region. These include hydrogen production as well as carbon capture, utilization and storage projects.

“At Tallgrass, we are equally focused on innovative solutions that propel investment in decarbonization and renewables and advance solutions that can rapidly expand North America’s clean energy supply chain,” Bashford said.

Tallgrass and Equinor join a growing list of oil and gas companies seeking to capitalize on potential hydrogen opportunities.

A coalition of seven Midwest states formalized a partnership last week to snag a share of an $8 billion federal funding package to advance four hydrogen hubs across the country. Ammonia, the second largest market for hydrogen, is largely used as an input to Midwest agricultural production.

Meanwhile, New York-based Amogy Inc. and global trading giant Trafigura have agreed to study whether ammonia can be used as a carrier to transport clean hydrogen from point of production to point of consumption. Amogy and Trafigura plan to identify and assess scenarios in which ammonia cracking technology can be deployed to support the growing hydrogen market.

In New England, two states recently joined the northeastern regional hydrogen hub coalition, which is vying for the federal funding program. The coalition is expecting to focus on a hydrogen hub that demonstrates the use of renewables, including hydropower, nuclear, solar, onshore and offshore wind generation.