Estimate Of Methaneinplace In Hydrate

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For each play area, an estimation of gas hydrate resources has been made (NIO,

1997) by assigning a probability from 5% to 95%. The various attributes have also been graded as a function the probabilities (Collett, 1996). The evaluated gas hydrate resource offshore India is restricted by a severely limited amount of relevant data, particularly in the continental slopes where both commercial data and existing marine geoscience data are minimal (Geoscience, 1998). No evaluation of an Indian hydrate has yet been carried out with the focus of the Japanese hydrate research program, which includes drilling evaluation (JNOC,

1998). Thus, these early estimates are subject to refinement or alteration with the availability of more relevant data in the future.

Estimates range from 95% probability, which is most conservative. These have the highest statistical certainty. The in-place resources of methane in the form of gas hydrates in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea have been estimated to lie in a range between 1,894 trillion m3 (66,290 TCF) at 95% probability to around 14,572 trillion m3 (510,020 TCF) at 5% probability (Table 3). These figures are consistent with an earlier set of estimates for a smaller area carried out by ONGC, which yielded estimates of: 10% probability, 264 TCM; 90% probability, 33 TCM; mean resource, 122 TCM. Although the Andaman Sea area is considered to have considerable gas and hydrate, because it is quite far from the Indian landmass, the problem of transporting gas from this area are considerable; no gas estimates are currently publicly available.

Plays

Probability of equal to or greater than:

95%

75%

50%

25%

5%

Bombay Offshore

135

307

454

630

852

Kerala-Konkan Offshore

62

221

1137

1566

2299

N. Arabian Sea

226

440

595

798

1092

S. Arabian Sea

0

0

312

709

1094

Eastern Offshore

1038

1527

2168

3181

4525

N. Bay of Bengal

245

334

468

648

937

S. Bay of Bengal

188

367

1022

2468

3773

Total Reserves (TCM)

1894

3196

6156

10000

14572

Total Reserves (TCF)

66290

111860

215460

350000

510200

Table 3. Estimated gas hydrate resources of India. Equal to or greater than 5% probability (GAIL, 1996). Editor's note: These figures are speculative and do not represent official government estimates.

Table 3. Estimated gas hydrate resources of India. Equal to or greater than 5% probability (GAIL, 1996). Editor's note: These figures are speculative and do not represent official government estimates.

What then constitutes the Indian hydrate resource? The best estimates that can be made at this time are very imprecise because of lack of relevant data. Much information must be obtained before a reliable estimate of the "Methane Resource" may be determined. However, in both optimistic and conservative cases, e.g., even at the lowest volumes that can be estimated at present, the absolute size of the potential resource appears to be so large (compared to the 707 billion m3 of conventional methane available to India presently), that a serious effort is justified to develop means for exploitation of gas hydrates.

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