Isabelle Moretti

Isabelle Moretti is a scientist with a master in mathematics and a Ph.D. in earth science from Univ Paris XI (Orsay). She was post doc in Cornell Uni and MIT and then began her career in 1987 at the French Petroleum Institute (IFP, now IFPen) where she held various project management positions working in France and abroad (Bolivia, Colombia, Egypt, Italia, Greece). She worked in fundamental research but also developed professional software, mainly in structural geology. She intersperses her research and appraisal activities for industry (TOTAL, CEPSA, YPFB) with work for governmental entities (IRD, CNRS, ANR, CEE, Ancre). She is author of more than 145 scientific papers, directed a thirty of PhD’s and is giving courses in various universities in France as abroad. In 2012, Isabelle Moretti moved to ENGIE and became rapidly the Technical Officer of Engie Coorp and then scientific director (CSO) in early 2018. It that position, she selected the technologies of tomorrow in renewable energies and other emerging markets and lead the research programs of the company in new source of energy and enabling technologies. She is now mainly back to the academic world and lead a team dedicated to natural hydrogen at the Pau University (UPPA) where she is working on different case studies such as Brazil, Australia, Namibia, Afar area, Colombia and Iceland but also in the H2 generating source rock characterization. She is also at the board of EartH2 that promotes the natural hydrogen E&P in Europe and involved in the TID de dedicated to natural H2 of the International Energy Agency.

1South of Brazil, the Uruguayan territory contains various promising rocks for H2 generation. An Archean Craton (Rio de la Plata), of from Montevideo, and some Neoproterozoic terranes north of Punta del Este. Such a craton has been proven to be a good H2 generating rock in Brazil and the Neoproterozoic formations, especially the BIF, generate H2 in Namibia. This country is located on the conjugated margin of Atlantic. Based on these promising correlations, Nativo Energy, a startup dedicated to natural H2 exploration, was created to look for natural H2 potential in Uruguay. The H2 exploration did not start yet in the country but the law doesn’t preclude it. In addition, the country has a H2 road map through which production, use and exportation of H2 have been already framed.

The first field campaign took place in April 2024, soil gas measurement, gas and rock sampling and later GC gas analyses were carried out. The 2 founders of Nativo Energy, 2 postgraduate students from the La Republica University, and 3 French experts were present. Results confirmed the presence of high H2 content in the soil, the key role of the suture zone as H2 migration pathway; they allow us to be very optimistic about Uruguay natural H2 potential. They are currently confidential but will be shown next November

·       Co-auteur Ricardo Bertolloti and Juan Negro:  Nativo Energy:

·       Isabelle Moretti, Alain Prinzhofer, Vincent Roche

·       Marcos Sequeira Callazo and Facundo Plenc Universidad de la Republica

Isabelle Moretti



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