India-US Joint Expedition Discovers Natural Gas in Indian Ocean [ Current Affairs ]

()

Joint expeditions by India and the United States have discovered large, highly developed accumulations of natural gas hydrate (an icy form of the fuel) in Indian Ocen. Discovery was made by the Union Oil Ministry and the US Geological Survey in the Bay of Bengal.

Image shows the Indian Ocean

Image shows the Indian Ocean

showing image of Indian Ocean

  • It was the result of the most comprehensive gas hydrate field venture in the world to date that comprised of scientists from India, Japan, and the US.
  • Discovery follows a survey of the region from March to July of last year.
  • Recently, finds of hydrate increases were unlikely to be producible, formations in sand reservoirs like the one announced Monday are the most easily tapped with existing technologies.
  • Then next step is to determine whether production from the Bay of Bengal site is economic.

Importance:

  • This is the first of its kind discovery in the Indian Ocean that has the potential to be producible and opens up a new resource to meet needs of energy hungry India.
  • The discovery will help unlock the global energy resource potential of gas hydrates as well as help define the technology needed to safely exploit (extract) them.

What are Natural gas hydrates?

Gas hydrate is a solid ice-like form of water that contains gas molecules in its molecular cavities1. In nature, this gas is mostly methane. Methane gashydrate is stable at the seafloor at water depths beneath about 500 m.

Image shows the Natural gas hydrates

Image shows the Natural gas hydrates

showing image of Natural gas hydrates

  • Natural gas hydrates are a naturally occurring, ice-like combination of natural gas and water.
  • Natural gas hydrates are primarily found in oceans and Polar Regions. Gas hydrates are considered as vast resources of natural gas.
  • They are known to occur in marine sediments on continental shelf margins.

Distribution of Gas hydrates

  • Amount of gas inside the world’s gas hydrate accumulations is estimated to greatly exceed the volume of all known conventional gas resources.
  • Gas hydrate resources are estimated at 1, 894 trillion cubic meters (tcm) and these deposits occur in Eastern, Western and Andaman offshore areas in India.
  • Gas hydrates is postulated that gas hydrate deposits along ocean margins are estimated to exceed known petroleum reserves by a factor of three.

- Published on: July 28, 2016