The Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry has given approval to the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) for joining hands with the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) at Postdam and Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research (GEOMAR) at Keil in Germany for the next phase of the National Gas Hydrate Programme (NGHP) 02 in the Andaman and East and West Coast areas.

The DGH, S.K. Srivastava will be visiting Germany in the second half of April to stitch up the agreements. Both the DGH and GFZ and GEOMAR will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for gas hydrate collaboration, officials in the petroleum Ministry said.

The DGH along with ONGC, OIL, GAIL, NIO and NGRI are part of the National Gas Hydrate Programme. Geophysical, geological and geochemical data have been collected from East and West Coasts and Andaman areas for identification of gas hydrate reservoirs and this would now be shared with the German research centres for bringing out the best.

The NGHP’s effort in Indian offshore for gas hydrate exploration has already led to the discovery of gas hydrates in KG, Mahanadi and Andaman deep offshore areas. The MoU is expected to accelerate the exploration of Gas Hydrates and enhance the capabilities of the laboratories that come under the NGHP. DGH on behalf of the NGHP would be signing the MOU on April 17.

DGH on behalf of NGHP is already engaged with IFM-GEOMAR Germany for collaborative research in the area of gas hydrates. NGHP is currently focusing on gas hydrate reservoir delineation and resource estimation in the KG basin area. The identification of the promising sites for NGHP Expedition 02 for drilling/coring/logging is in progress. The expedition 02 is planned in 2012-13.

Keeping in view the IFM GEOMARS expertise to conduct exclusive seismic coverage for gas hydrates in marine environment and the availability of the seismic vessel with the Institute, NGHP would join hands for a joint cruise with the German Institute.

The GFZ is the national research centre for Earth Sciences in Germany. It investigates `System Earth’ at locations all over the world with all the geological, physical, chemical and biological processes which occur at its surface and in its interior.

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