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Preface: Marine gas hydrate reservoir systems along the eastern continental margin of India: Results of the National Gas Hydrate Program Expedition 02

October 1, 2019

The 2015 India National Gas Hydrate Program (NGHP) Expedition 02 was conducted to obtain new information on the occurrence of gas hydrate systems and to advance the understanding of geologic controls on the formation of gas hydrate accumulations in the offshore of India. The ultimate goal of the NGHP effort is to assess the energy resource potential of marine gas hydrates in India. The Guest Editors for this special thematic issue of the Journal of Marine and Petroleum Geology (JMPG) have worked with more than 100 scientists and engineers to prepare the 45 individual reports included in this special issue to address the operational and technical contributions of the NGHP-02 Expedition. This thematic issue on natural gas hydrates in the offshore of India is built on the foundation of five previous JMPG thematic issues that focused on the scientific results of other marine gas hydrate expeditions. These foundational contributions include: (1) the “Scientific Results of the 2005 USDOE-Chevron JIP Drilling for Methane Hydrates Objectives in the Gulf of Mexico” (Volume 25, Issue 9, November 2008), (2) the “Resource and Hazard Implications of Gas Hydrates in the Northern Gulf of Mexico: Results of the 2009 Joint Industry Project Leg II Drilling Expedition” (Volume 34, Issue 1, June 2012), (3) the “Scientific Results of the Second Gas Hydrate Drilling Expedition in the Ulleung Basin (UBGH2), East Sea of Korea” (Volume 47, November 2013), (4) “Geologic Implications of Gas Hydrates in the Offshore of India: Results of the National Gas Hydrate Program Expedition 01” (Volume 58, Part A, December 2014), and (5) “Gas Hydrate Drilling in Eastern Nankai” (Volume 66, Part 2, September 2015). The NGHP-02 Expedition was conducted from 03-March- 2015 to 28-July- 2015 off the eastern coast of India. The first two months of the expedition were dedicated to establishing 25 new research sites that featured the drilling of a dedicated downhole logging hole at each site. The next three months of the NGHP-02 Expedition were dedicated to sediment coring and other downhole measurement operations at 10 of the sites established during the expedition’s first phase. The results of downhole logging, coring and formation pressure testing operations during NGHP-02 have confirmed the presence of large, highly concentrated gas hydrate accumulations in coarse-grained, sand-rich depositional systems throughout large portions of the Krishna-Godavari Basin. Post expedition research and reporting efforts included collaborative analysis of the unprecedented number of shipboard acquired data sets and core samples obtained during NGHP-02. The presentation of the scientific results of the NGHP-02 Expedition has culminated in the publication of the NGHP Expedition 02 Scientific Results Volume, which is represented by this Special Issue of the Journal of Marine and Petroleum Geology. This Special Issue features a series of four reports that summarize the operational and scientific results of NGHP-02 Expedition that are presented in the 41 technical reports included this Special Issue. The first summary report, “India National Gas Hydrate Program Expedition 02: Operational and Technical Summary,” focuses on reviewing the tools and operational procedures for the NGHP-02 Expedition that led to the acquisition of an unprecedented amount of high-quality downhole logging and core data from numerous pore-filling, fracture-filling, and sediment-displacement type gas hydrate occurrences. The summary report titled “India National Gas Hydrate Program Expedition 02 Summary of Scientific Results: Gas Hydrate Systems Along the Eastern Continental Margin of India” documents gas hydrate occurrences discovered during the NGHP-02 Expedition and examines geologic controls on the gas hydrate systems along the Eastern Continental Margin of India.