Gas hydrate is a solid, ice-like form of water, which contains gas molecules in its molecular cavities.
Large quantities of gas hydrates exist in the world. Scientists in the hydrocarbon field consider this form as the future source of natural gas. However, the catch is, no country in the world has developed technology to extract the gas from these hydrates.
Japan and Canada are two countries that have been working on the technology for a long time, and claim it would be possible to produce commercial gas from gas hydrates in the next 4-5 years.
ONGC has been an active participant in the National Gas Hydrate Programes (NGHPs). To promote this a Gas Hydrate Research & Technology Centre (GHRTC) was established on 14 September 2016 at Panvel. This centre gives impetus to the Gas Hydrate research & technology development and contributes to GOI’s plan to commercialize Gas Hydrates as energy resource at the earliest.
ONGC has struck gas hydrate reserves in the deep sea off the Andhra Pradesh coast. The reserves are located in the Krishna-Godavari basin, which came into the limelight about a decade ago and the fresh reserves are estimated to be around 134 trillion cubic feet (tcf), about one-third of the gas reserves of the United States, which is the largest producer of natural gas in the world.
Such a huge quantity of gas can turn India's fortunes in the future, by making the country self-sufficient in the energy sector, which currently imports 80% of its consumption requirements.