Distribution of Methane Hydrate- Methane Hydrate Under South China Sea Exploited (Important) (Download PDF)


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China was successfully in producing natural gas from methane hydrate in the South China Sea (SCS) - total of 309,000 cubic meters of natural gas was produced from gas hydrate in 60 days. India also has rich deposits of methane hydrates.

Image shows Occurrences of Methane Hydrates in orange color

Image Shows Occurrences of Methane Hydrates in Orange Color

Image shows Occurrences of Methane Hydrates in orange color

What Are Methane Hydrates

  • Gas hydrates consist natural gas (most commonly methane) enclosed within a solid lattice of water molecules.
  • Found where methane occurs in the presence of water under elevated pressure at relatively low temperature- beneath permafrost and in shallow sediments along deepwater continental margins.
  • Gas hydrates believed to occur in vast volumes- 250,000–700,000 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of methane.
  • Scientific Inquiry
  • Large store of organic carbon opportunity to understand hydrate’s role in global carbon cycling, natural geohazards, and as a potential future source of energy.
  • Cage-like lattice of ice, which traps molecules of methane. Methane hydrate when warmed or depressurized produces water and natural gas.
  • One cubic meter of gas hydrate releases 164 cubic meters of natural gas.
  • World’s last great source of carbon-based fuel potential to cater future energy needs.

Types of Methane Hydrate Deposits

  • Hydrate deposits are several hundred meters thick and occur in two types of settings:

    • Arctic permafrost
    • Beneath the ocean floor
  • Are generated using two processes:

    • Biogenic, created by biological activity in sediments
    • Thermogenic, created by geological processes deep in earth

- Published/Last Modified on: September 6, 2017


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