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Underground Storage Solutions

Partnering on the hydrogen infrastructure build

To ensure safe and reliable Hydrogen storage, large-scale solutions must be developed. Salt caverns are one such geological formation that might provide ample storage possibilities for hydrogen. Currently used for natural gas, salt caverns offer excellent sealability of the salt structure, together with efficiency, low operating costs, and significant economies of scale.



  • Sour service expertise and Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG) applications to help customers optimize tubing sealability to explore further salt cavern development for hydrogen. We are already supplying tubings for several pilot wells.
  • A wide range of steel grades suitable for severe sour service environments, which offer good resistance to hydrogen embrittlement.
  • A wide range of VAM® connections that provide tight sealability and thus safe hydrogen storage.
  • Weldable grades for optimized weldability performance that are also qualified for sour service.
What Is Hydrogen?


Hydrogen’s physical properties make the development of robust infrastructure complex. Vallourec’s materials expertise is proving invaluable in developing the necessary solutions.

Important physical properties of hydrogen

High energy
Hydrogen offers 3x the energy of gasoline per unit of mass, making it an attractive fuel source.
Low density
Hydrogen is the lightest element (1/10 of natural gas), so larger volumes must be moved to meet identical energy demand. Gaseous hydrogen needs to be stored and transported at high pressures, up to 1,000 bar; Vallourec has a strong track record with such high pressures.
Higher velocity for pipeline transportation
Hydrogen is flowing about 3 times faster than natural gas when transported in pipelines; when combined with lower density, this means that the energy flow in a pipeline is about 80% compared to a natural gas pipeline in similar conditions.
Highly flammable
Hydrogen has high flame velocity (8x methane) and ignition range (6x wider than methane). Gas tightness and reliability of solutions, a key expertise and commitment of Vallourec, will be essential.


All these technical challenges will certainly find appropriate responses. Vallourec will contribute to these, so that the required infrastructure can be safely developed. In this way, the full potential of hydrogen as a low-carbon technology can be unleashed.

Documents & Resources

News – Large-scale hydrogen for a cleaner tomorrow

Dec. 2020 | by Vincent Designolle
From solar and wind to biomass, the number of cleaner alternatives to fossil fuels has exploded in recent years. But one clearly stands out from the pack: hydrogen. Already well established in industrial uses, hydrogen is now angling to conquer hard-to-decarbonize sectors like heavy transport and energy-intensive industries. To ensure success, infrastructure at a large scale will be needed to support hydrogen’s growth—a gargantuan undertaking that Vallourec is well placed to support.

Our Role in Hydrogen
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Case Study
Hydrogen is set to play a key role in the energy transition acting as a low-emission energy carrier for various applications. However, hydrogen is known to affect mechanical properties of some materials, a phenomenon named hydrogen embrittlement. To ensure safe transport and storage of compressed gaseous hydrogen, steels must be proven resistant to such environments. Vallourec has successfully qualified the fracture toughness resistance of a selection of steel grades for OCTG pipes, line pipes and pressure vessels in the presence of pure H2 gas. Thanks to its material expertise, Vallourec succeeded in testing higher strength steels that, for certain applications, enable thinner walls, lighter solutions, and reduced resource consumption to its customers.