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Methane in Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin

Topics Covered: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

Methane in Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin:


Researchers from Agharkar Research Institute (ARI) have found that the methane hydrate deposits are located in the Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin are of biogenic origin.

Significance of KG basin:

  • Even the lowest estimate of methane present in the methane hydrates in KG Basin is twice that of all fossil fuel reserves available worldwide.
  • Researchers have also predicted the rate of biogenic methane generation in KG Basin hydrates to be 0.031 millimoles methane/gTOC/Day, resulting in total deposits of methane around 0.56 to 7.68trillion cubic feet (TCF).

What is Methane? How is it formed or produced?

It is a clean and economical fuel.

On Earth, methane (CH4) is a naturally occurring gas. Most of the methane on Earth is produced in biological processes — some of it by microbes, and some occurring as underground natural gas that had been formed by earlier generations of microbial life.

Many of these methane-producing microbes live in the digestive systems of animals, especially cows. However, methane can also be produced by abiotic processes (those that do not involve living organisms).

  • It has been found to occur in formations such as rocks, springs and aquifers, and studies have concluded that it was formed there by chemical reactions between carbon and hydrogen atoms at low temperature.
  • Once it is released into the atmospheres of either Earth or Mars, methane is relatively short-lived.
  • Methane concentrations on Earth is over 1,800 parts per million.

What is methane hydrate?

  • Methane hydrate is formed when hydrogen-bonded water and methane gas come into contact at high pressures and low temperatures in oceans.
  • It is estimated that one cubic meter of methane hydrate contains 160-180 cubic meters of methane.



Prelims Link:

  1. What is methane? How is it produced?
  2. What is methane hydrate?
  3. Coalbed methane vs Shale gas.
  4. What is coalification?
  5. Greenhouse gases emitted during CBM extraction?

Mains Link:

What is coalbed methane? How is it extracted and what is its significance? Discuss.

Sources: PIB.