Methane Hydrate deposits in Krishna-Godavari Basin
According to a study at Agharkar Research Institute, Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin has significant methane deposits.
• Methane hydrate is a crystalline solid that consists of a methane molecule surrounded by a cage of interlocking water molecules. Methane hydrate is an "ice" that only occurs naturally in subsurface deposits where temperature and pressure conditions are favorable for its formation.
• Methane hydrate is formed when hydrogen-bonded water and methane gas come into contact at high pressures and low temperatures in oceans.
• Methane is a clean and economical fuel. It is estimated that one cubic meter of methane hydrate contains 160-180 cubic meters of methane.
As the world runs out of fossil fuels and looks out for alternate sources of clean energy, there is good news from the Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin. The methane hydrate deposit in this basin is a rich source that will ensure adequate supplies of methane, a natural gas.
The study conducted by researchers at the Agharkar Research Institute (ARI), an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India have found that the methane hydrate deposits are located in the Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin are of biogenic origin.
The study was conducted as a part of the DST-SERB young scientist project, titled ‘Elucidating the community structure of methanogenic archaea in methane hydrate’.
Even the lowest estimate of methane present in the methane hydrates in KG Basin is twice that of all fossil fuel reserves available worldwide.
The ARI team has further identified the methanogens that produced the biogenic methane trapped as methane hydrate, which can be a significant source of energy.
This study using molecular and culturing techniques revealed maximum methanogenic diversity in the KG basin, which is one of the prominent reasons to confirm it to be the extreme source of biogenic methane in comparison to the Andaman and Mahanadi basins.