Gas Hydrates and Other Conventional Resources

Scientific Achievement on "Exploration of Gas-hydrates" by CSIR-NGRI

Since the discovery of major oil/gas fields has not taken place in the past few decades, and the era of finding easy oil/gas is almost over, various forms of unconventional and renewable energy resources are sought for energy-starving countries like India towards the energy security. Gas-hydrates that naturally occur in shallow sediments along the outer continental margins and permafrost regions are envisaged as one of the best alternatives, as their energy content is more than two times that of the total fossil fuels (oil, gas and coal). The amount of methane prognosticated in the form of gas-hydrates along the Indian margin is more than 1500 times of country's present natural gas reserves, and only 10% recovery can meet India's overwhelming energy requirement for about 100 years. Successful production tests in Alaska (USA), McKenzie delta (Canada) and Continental margin of Japan provide great hopes that viable production of gas-hydrates for commercial use is not far (Sain & Gupta, 2014). Therefore, delineation and assessment of gas-hydrates using various geo-scientific data have been very essential for evaluating the resource potential of gas-hydrates in India. CSIR-NGRI has taken up this research, and  established the state-of-the-art Gas Hydrate Research Center at NGRI with world-class facilities for inversion, processing, modeling & interpretation of seismic data along with laboratory facilities to understand the formation and dissociation kinetics aiming for providing inputs to develop suitable production technology. Salient features with references are described below:

  • Prepared gas hydrates stability thickness map along the Indian margin (Sain et al., 2011), and Illuminated gas-hydrates scenario within the Indian exclusive economic zone (Sain & Gupta, 2012; Sain, 2012).
  • Proposed new approaches for the delineation and characterization of gas-hydrates based on several seismic attributes (Satyavani et al., 2008; Ojha and Sain, 2009; Sain et al., 2009; Sain & Singh, 2011; Satyavani & Sain, 2015).
  • Developed innovative methods for the quantification and assessment of gas-hydrates (Ghosh & Sain, 2008; Ojha et al., 2010; Ghosh et al., 2010a,b; Sain et al., 2010; Shankar et al., 2013, 2014; Ojha & Sain, 2013; Wang et al., 2013, 2014; Jana et al., 2016; Satyavani et al., 2015).
  • Identified prospective zones of gas-hydrates in Krishna-Godavari (KG), Mahanadi and Andaman offshore using available industry-standard seismic data, where gas-hydrates were later recovered by drilling and coring (Sain and Gupta, 2008).
  • Led a cruise by designing a specific experiment using state-of-the-art data acquisition system, and delineated new potential zones of gas-hydrates in KG and Mahanadi basins through acquisition and analysis of 7500 LKM of high-quality multi-channel and 880 LKM of ocean bottom seismic data (Sain et al., 2012).
  • Organized an International Workshop entitled "Science & Technology of Gas Hydrates: When can they be produced efficiently and safely" in India that provides a glimpse of views/concerns often asked by people (Sain et al., 2015)
  • Summarized entire gas-hydrates activities through an abstract figure (Fig.1).
    1. K. Sain, & H.K. Gupta, 2014. Gas-hydrates, a major energy resource of India for the next generation, Jour. of Indian Geophysical Union, 18(1), 11-17.
    2. Sain, V. Rajesh, N. Satyavani, K.V. Subbarao & C. Subrahmanyam, 2011. Gas hydrates stability thickness map along the Indian continental margin, Jour. of Mar. & Petrol. Geol., 28, 1779-1786.
    3. K. Sain & H. K. Gupta, 2012. Gas hydrates in India: Potential and Development, Gondwana Research, 22, 645-657.
    4. K. Sain, 2012. Gas hydrates - a probable solution to India's energy crisis, International Journal of Earth Sciences and Engineering, Editorial Note, v.5, No.2, p.1-3.
    5. N. Satyavani, K. Sain, Malcolm Lall, & B.J.P. Kumar, 2008. Seismic attribute study for gas hydrates in the Andaman offshore, India, Mar. Geophys. Res., 29, 167-175.
    6. M. Ojha & K. Sain, 2009. Seismic attributes for identifying gas hydrates and free-gas zones: application to the Makran accretionary prism, Episodes, 32, 264-270.
    7. K. Sain, A.K. Singh, N.K. Thakur & R. K. Khanna, 2009. Seismic quality factor observations for gas hydrate-bearing sediments on western Indian margin, Mar. Geophys. Res., 30, 137-145.
    8. K. Sain & A.K. Singh, 2011. Seismic quality factors across a bottom simulating reflector in the Makran accretionary prism, Jour. of Mar. & Petrol. Geol., 28, 1838-1843.
    9. N. Satyavani & K. Sain, 2015. Seismic insights of a bottom simulating reflector (BSR) in Krishna-Godavari basin, eastern Indian margin, Marine Georesources and Geotechnology, 33, 191-201.
    10. R. Ghosh & K. Sain, 2008. Effective medium modeling to assess gas hydrate and free gas evident from the velocity structure in the Makran accretionary prism, Mar. Geophys. Res., 29, 267–274.
    11. M. Ojha, K. Sain & T.A. Minshull, 2010. Assessment of gas hydrates saturation in the Makran accretionary prism using the offset dependence of seismic amplitudes, Geophysics, 75, 2, C1-C6.
    12. R. Ghosh, K. Sain & M. Ojha, 2010a. Effective medium modeling of gas hydrate-filled fractures using sonic log in the Krishna-Godavari basin, eastern Indian offshore, Jour. of Geophys. Res., 115, B06101, 1-15.
    13. R. Ghosh, K. Sain & M. Ojha, 2010b. Estimating the amount of gas hydrate using effective medium theory: a case study in the Blake Ridge, Sp. issue, Mar. Geophys. Res., 31, 29-37.
    14. K. Sain, R. Ghosh & M. Ojha, 2010. Rock physics modeling for assessing gas hydrate and free gas: a case study in the Cascadia accretionary prism, Mar. Geophys. Res., 31,109-119.
    15. U. Shankar, D.K. Gupta, D. Bhowmick & K. Sain, 2013. Gas hydrate and free-gas saturations using rock physics modeling at site NGHP-01-05 in the Krishna-Godavari basin, eastern Indian margin, Jour. of Petrol. Sci. & Engg., 106, 62-70.
    16. U. Shankar, K. Sain & M. Riedel, 2014. Assessment of gas-hydrates stability zone and geothermal modeling of BSR in the Andaman Sea, Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, 79, 358-365.
    17. M. Ojha, & K. Sain, 2013. Quantification of gas hydrates and free gas in the Andaman offshore from downhole data, Current Science, 105, 512-516.
    18. X. Wang, K. Sain, N. Satyavani, J. Wang, M. Ojha & S. Wu, 2013, Gas hydrates saturation using the geostatistical inversion in fractured reservoir in the Krishna-Godavari basin, offshore eastern India, Jour. of Mar. & Petrol Geol., 45, 224-235.
    19. J. Wang, K. Sain, X. Wang, N. Satyavani & S. Guo, 2014. Characteristics of bottom simulating reflectors for hydrate-filled fractured sediments in KG basin, eastern Indian margin, Jour. of Petroleum Science & Engineering, 122, 515-523.
    20. S. Jana, M. Ojha & K. Sain, 2015. Gas hydrate saturation from heterogeneous model constructed from well log in Krishna-Godavari basin, eastern Indian offshore, Geophys. Jour. Internat., 203, 246-256.
    21. N. Satyavani, G. Alekhya & K. Sain, 2015. Free gas / gas hydrate inference in Krishna-Godavari basin using seismic and well log data, Jour. of Natural Gas Science & Engineering, 25, 317-324.
    22. K. Sain & H. K. Gupta, 2008. Gas hydrates: Indian scenario, Jour. of Geol. Soc. of India, 72, 299-311.
    23. K. Sain, M. Ojha, N. Satyavani, G.A. Ramadass, T. Ramprasad, S.K. Das & H.K. Gupta, 2012. Gas hydrates in Krishna-Godavari and Mahanadi basins: new data, Jour. of Geol. Soc. of India, 79, 553-556.
    24. K. Sain, M. Rafique, S. Singh & H. K. Gupta, 2015. A report of the 9th International Methane Hydrates R&D Workshop "Science & Technology of Gas Hydrates: When can they be produced efficiently and safely, Jour. of Indian Geophysical Union, 19(3), 353-361.

Fig.1: (Left) The most prospective zones (Krishna-Godavari, Mahanadi and Andaman) and less-explored but potential zones (Kerala-Konkan, Saurashtra, Kerala-Laccadive and Cauvery) of gas hydrates are superimposed on the gas-hydrates stability thickness map along the Indian shelf with the EEZ boundary; (Middle) Seismic section showing BSR, marker for gas-hydrates with recovered gas-hydrates samples at right-bottom corner; (Right) Sonic log and saturation of gas-hydrates as a function of depth.

Scientific Achievement on Sub-basalt Imaging


Project Title

Project No.

Quantitative Assessment of Gas-hydrates in the Krishna-Godavari and Mahanadi basins


Geodynamics and Earthquake generating processes in NE India and Andaman Subduction zone (GENIAS)


Geophysical and biogeochemical investigations to understand geodynamics of the continental margins, and genesis and accumulations of gas hydrates


Shallow subsurface imaging of India for resource exploration


Characterization, quantification and genesis of gas hydrate in Krishna-Godavari Basin, Bay of Bengal using benthic foraminiferal, geochemical and geophysical studies




Name Designation
Dr. Kalachand Sain Sr. Principal Scientist and Project Leader

Dr. P.S.R. Prasad

Sr. Principal Scientist

Dr. Nittala Satyavani

Senior Scientist

Dr. Maheswar Ojha


Dr. K V Praveen Kumar


Dr. M S Kalpna


Dr. ASSRS Prasad

Principal Technical Officer

Dr. D J Patil

Principal Technical Officer

Mrs. A. Prasanthi

Senior Technical Officer(2)

Mr. Vivekanand Pandey

Senior Technical Officer(1)

Mr. Rafique Attar

Technical Assistant

Mr. Satendra Singh

Technical Assistant