Methane hydrate deposit in the Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin is a rich source that will ensure adequate supplies of methane, according to a study by the Agharkar Research Institute (ARI).

The ARI is an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.

"Methane is a clean and economical fuel. It is estimated that one cubic meter of methane hydrate contains 160-180 cubic meters of methane. Even the lowest estimate of methane present in the methane hydrates in KG Basin is twice that of all fossil fuel reserves available worldwide," an official statement said.

The ARI study has 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’. Methane hydrate is formed when hydrogen-bonded water and methane gas come into contact at high pressures and low temperatures in oceans, the statement said.

According to the present study accepted for publishing in the journal ‘Marine genomics’, 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, the statement added.

“The massive methane hydrate deposits of biogenic origin in the Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin and near the coast of Andaman and Mahanadi make it necessary to study the associated methanogenic community,” said Vikram B Lanjekar, the Principal Investigator of the study.