Panaji: Ocean Researchers claim that huge quantity of natural gas can be found in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) around India but is yet to be trapped.

EEZ is a sea zone that extends to a distance of 200 nautical miles out from its coastal baseline.

The scientists from India’s premier ocean research institute- National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), who are carrying out a research in Indian continental shelf, have estimated that 1894 cubic metres of gas could be explored from the region.

“The gas was found during drilling in Krishna Godavari basin, Mahanadi and Andaman Sea in August 2006,” Dr T Ramprasad, Head of Gas Hydrate group, NIO, said.

He said that the recent drilling off-Kochi has also found a possible presence of gas hydrates there. “It is not confirmed, but there can be a possibility," Ramprasad said.

The researchers, who dug the sea-bed for gas, off the Goa coast, had to return empty-handed. Ramprasad said that India does not have a technology to extract the gas, as it is in the clay formation and is present in a fractured way. “Had it been in the the sand formation, it would have been easy to extract it,” he said.

But the gas trapped in them is double that of in the fossils. The scientists have found that the gas is spread in an uneven way, which makes the exploration difficult.

“They were found 40 metres below the sea-bed. We found a thick layer of 128 metres at one point, while 300 metres away from there, the thickness of layer was only 30 metres,” the scientist said. Union Minister of State for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Ashwani Kumar told reporters in Goa on Sunday that the government is trying to understand the potential of the gas trapped inside.

(Agencies)