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A review of the exploration, discovery, and characterization of highly concentrated gas hydrate accumulations in coarse-grained reservoir systems along the Eastern Continental Margin of India

January 17, 2022

The analysis of 3-D seismic data has become one of the most powerful ways to identify sand-rich gas hydrate reservoir systems and to directly identify highly concentrated gas hydrate prospects. Scientific drilling programs have shown that the occurrence of highly concentrated gas hydrate accumulations in coarse-grained, sand-rich, reservoir systems has a significant impact on the physical properties of sediments, allowing gas hydrates to be “directly detected” by conventional seismic analysis techniques. One of the most diagnostic responses of a gas hydrate-bearing sand reservoir is that of a high-velocity sedimentary section and an associated high-amplitude seismic response with a reflection polarity matching that of the seafloor. Knowledge of this physical relationship guided the Indian National Gas Hydrate Program Expedition 02 (NGHP-02) in their pre-drill site review and selection effort along the eastern continental margin of India in 2016. Within the planning, operational and post-operational data analysis phases of the NGHP-02 Expedition, scientists relied heavily on the analyses of the (1) pre-expedition acquired 3-D seismic data from offshore India, (2) downhole logging data acquired during NGHP-02 and (3) core samples and data obtained from NGHP-02 conventional- and pressure-cores to identify gas hydrates and assess the geologic controls on the formation and stability of these accumulations. Data analysis has confirmed the presence of extensive sand-rich depositional systems throughout the deepwater portions of the Krishna-Godavari and Mahanadi Basins in the Bay of Bengal. Two areas of the Krishna-Godavari Basin contain substantial gas hydrate accumulations in sand-rich systems, representing candidate sites for future potential energy exploitation.