Gas hydrate is a naturally occurring “ice-like” combination of natural gas and water that has the potential to serve as an immense resource of natural gas from the world’s oceans and polar regions. However, gas-hydrate recovery is both a scientific and a technical challenge and much remains to be learned about the geologic, engineering, and economic factors controlling the ultimate energy resource potential of gas hydrate. The amount of natural gas contained in the world’s gas-hydrate accumulations is enormous, but these estimates are speculative and range over three orders of magnitude from about 2,800 to 8,000,000 trillion cubic meters of gas. By comparison, conventional natural gas accumulations (reserves and undiscovered, technically recoverable resources) for the world are estimated at approximately 440 trillion cubic meters. Gas recovery from gas hydrate is hindered because the gas is in a solid form and because gas hydrate commonly occurs in remote Arctic and deep marine environments. Proposed methods of gas recovery from gas hydrate generally deal with disassociating or “melting” in situ gas hydrate by heating the reservoir beyond the temperature of gas-hydrate formation, or decreasing the reservoir pressure below hydrate equilibrium. The pace of energy-related gas hydrate assessment projects has accelerated over the past several years.
The Indian National Gas Hydrate Program Expedition 01 was designed to study the gas-hydrate occurrences off the Indian Peninsula and along the Andaman convergent margin with special emphasis on understanding the geologic and geochemical controls on the occurrence of gas hydrate in these two diverse settings. During Indian National Gas Hydrate Program Expedition 01, dedicated gas-hydrate coring, drilling, and downhole logging operations were conducted from 28 April 2006 to 19 August 2006.
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