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Methane Hydrates Have a Bright Future

August 3, 2016

Scientists from India, Japan and the United States USGS, have discovered large deposits of methane hydrates in the Bay of Bengal.

They report that these methane hydrates were found in “coarse-grained sand-rich depositional systems in the Krishna-Godavari basin” and are more easily mined than the methane hydrates off the United States continental shelf.

“[Methane] gas hydrate at high concentrations in sand reservoirs represent the best combination for production using existing technologies.”

The work being done by the USGS is intended to not only discover where large concentrations of methane gas hydrates are located, but also to determine the best method for safely extracting the methane trapped in the hydrate.

Methane hydrates are, methane, i.e., natural gas, trapped in an ice lattice. They form under very low temperatures or high pressures, or a combination of the two.

Map of world showing underwater topography from USCD

Map of world showing underwater topography from USCD

The pink areas of this map are the outer continental shelves on which methane hydrates can be found. Methane and natural gas, are the same, i.e., CH4.

Extreme environmentalists have declared war on methane, so they will be attacking any development of natural gas from methane hydrates.

The world, however, can benefit from this clean burning fuel.

Tim Collett, USGS senior scientist, said: “The discovery of what we believe to be several of the largest and most concentrated gas hydrate accumulations yet found in the world will yield the geologic and engineering data needed to better understand the geologic controls on the occurrence of gas hydrate in nature and to assess the technologies needed to safely produce gas hydrates.”

Japan has a program for producing natural gas from methane hydrates located near its coast, and predicts it will be successful by 2019. See, Natural Gas Bonanza from Hydrates.

The Indian National Gas Hydrate Program was an important part of the Bay of Bengal explorations, as India can use a natural gas supply to replace LNG imports.

There are huge reserves of natural gas entrapped in methane hydrates around the world.

For example, methane hydrates along the United States outer continental shelf could provide more than 20 times its existing natural gas reserves.

Methane hydrates represent another wonderful supply of fossil fuels that can benefit mankind.

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Nothing to Fear, Chapter 18, Remarkable Availability of Life Saving Fossil Fuels, explains why the United States has a huge potential supply of natural gas from methane hydrates.

Nothing to Fear is available from Amazon and some independent book sellers.

Link to Amazon:

Book Cover, Nothing to Fear

Book Cover, Nothing to Fear

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. permalink
    August 3, 2016 9:31 am

    Good news and keep us informed. Richh

    • August 3, 2016 9:38 am

      I only hope more people would understand the threats we face. Merely compare the energy platforms of the two major parties to see the danger we face.

  2. Paul Redfern permalink
    August 7, 2016 11:18 pm

    I am not sure this can be classified as a fossil fuel. There was a recent article talking about inorganic methane at the bottom of the ocean, formed when seawater hits the hot rocks of the mantle. There is more of this than in all of fracking. I saw a show about the ocean many years ago on pbs which said that all of the ocean water was cycled through the mantle every 13? years. There is also an unexplained event that happened some 60 million years ago in which the ocean became acidic and methane came out of the ocean. I wonder if this methane came from the methane clathrates (hydrates)?

    • August 8, 2016 4:24 pm

      I did not see the show you are referring to, so can’t comment.


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