Gas hydrate is a crystalline solid, its building blocks consist of a gas molecule surrounded by a cage of water molecules. Each molecule of Gas hydrate contains upto 164 m3 of Methane (CH4). Initial work in India on Gas Hydrates as energy resource, was done by GAIL and NIO. In 1995 an expert committee realized the potential of gas hydrates in India.
Gas hydrate exploratory activities/ research in India is being steered by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas under National Gas Hydrate Program (NGHP) which was initiated in 1997 with participation from Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH), National E&P companies (Oil and Natural Gas corporation Ltd, GAIL India Ltd, Indian Oil Corporation & Oil India Ltd) and National Research Institution (National Institute of Oceanography, National Geophysical Research Institute and National Institute of Ocean Technology). Steering Committee is headed by Secretary, P&NG with Joint Secretary (E) as convener. The Technical Committee is chaired by DG, DGH and has participation from all National Oil Companies (NOC) like OIL, ONGC, GAIL, IOCL, and National Institutes like the NGRI, NIO & NIOT. The NGHP was restructured in the year 2000.
To meet the challenges of exploring gas hydrate, which is at a research stage the world over, MoPNG / DGH have signed MoU with various agencies for sharing of knowledge and scientific data:
a) NGHP carried out the expedition-01 in 2006. The presence of significant quantities of Gas Hydrate has been established in the KG, Mahanadi and Andaman basins.
b) NGHP Expedition 02 aims at identifying sites which would ideally have:
c) NGHP Expedition-02 has been approved by the Steering Committee of NGHP. NGHP Expedition 02 consists of LWD (Logging while drilling), Coring and wire line lo9gging program at about 20 sites (40wells) in the deep water KG & Mahanadi basins. The cost of NGHP Exoedtion-02 shall be shared by OIDB (50%), ONGC (20%), OIL (10%), GAIL (10%) and IOCL (10%).
d) The drill ship CHIKYU has commenced operations under the NGHP Exp-02 on the 4th of March 2015. Till the 31st march 2015 Logging While Drilling (LWD) has been completed at 13 wells. The NGHP Expediton-02, including the coring leg, is expected to be completed by the 31stjuly 2015.
e) Expedition 03 aims at carrying out pilot production testing of at least one site in the Indian deep-water environment. However, the execution of Expedition-03 depends on the success of NGHP Expedition-02.