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U.S. Geological Survey
Fact Sheet 021-01 Online Version 1.0

Natural Gas Hydrates: Vast Resource, Uncertain Future

By Timothy Collett

Gas hydrates are naturally occurring icelike solids in which water molecules trap gas molecules in a cagelike structure known as a clathrate. Although many gases form hydrates in nature, methane hydrate is by far the most common; methane is the most abundant natural gas. The volume of carbon contained in methane hydrates worldwide is estimated to be twice the amount contained in all fossil fuels on Earth, including coal.

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URL of this page: http://pubs.usgs.gov/factsheet/fs021-01/
Maintained by: Eastern Publications Group Web Team
Created 04/10/01
Last modified: 04/10/01 (krw)