Baker Botts LLP, a prominent international technology and energy law firm, has launched a dedicated Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage Practice Group within the firm’s Energy sector. The launch follows closely behind the firm’s Global Hydrogen Practice Group launch in June this year, which has reportedly seen significant interest from clients and the energy markets. 

Carbon capture, utilization and storage, or CCUS, projects and technologies is expected to play a critical role in the energy transition by ensuring that the world’s growing energy demand continues to be met whilst at the same time working towards achieving ever more aggressive global climate and emissions targets. CCUS will also be essential in the development of the global hydrogen economy, as “blue” hydrogen production (hydrogen produced from natural gas combined with CCUS to capture the carbon dioxide produced) will be critical to the widespread availability of low-carbon hydrogen supplies that can be combined with virtually no-carbon “green” hydrogen production (hydrogen produced by electrolysis using renewable power) to fuel a global shift towards hydrogen. 

As the global economy searches for ways to decarbonise sectors of the economy beyond what renewable energy alone can accomplish, low-carbon hydrogen, and ammonia produced from that hydrogen, have emerged as promising sources and carriers of energy that will support that decarbonisation. The strong interest in developing a ‘hydrogen economy’ is being driven by demand initiatives and targets set by the European Union and by countries such as the UK, Japan, and South Korea, where national programmes have been developed as part of an overall decarbonisation plan. 

Co-headed by Washington DC-based Global Projects partner Tom Holmberg and London-based Global Projects partner, Rob Butler, the CCUS and Hydrogen practices are full-service offerings for clients that build on the work already done by Baker Botts lawyers in this area.

Baker Botts has broad experience on both CCUS and hydrogen matters, having advised on both pre- and post-combustion CCUS projects, and the firm is currently advising on the proposed development and financing of a multibillion-dollar green hydrogen project in the Middle East. 

The CCUS and Hydrogen practices include lawyers from the firm’s project development and finance, environmental, corporate, capital markets, private equity, tax, IP, technology and disputes practices. They include lawyers from the London, Brussels and US offices, and the overall offering will be expanded to cover the firm’s entire footprint.