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USGS Woods Hole Science Center Hosts a Delegation from India

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On December 19, 2008, a delegation of seven Indian scientists and managers visited the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Woods Hole Science Center in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. The purpose of their visit was to learn about our facilities and, in particular, the gas hydrates laboratory (GHASTLI—Gas Hydrate and Sediment Testing Laboratory Instrument). This delegation of high-level experts had come to Washington, D.C., to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between the USGS and India's Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) for joint studies of gas hydrates on the continental margins of India. USGS Energy Resources Program Coordinator Brenda Pierce and Tim Collett (USGS Central Energy Resources Team, Denver, Colorado) were present when Mark Myers, then Director of the USGS, signed the Memorandum of Understanding with V.K. Sibal, Director of DGH. R.S. Pandey, Secretary of Petroleum in India’s Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, was also present. After several days of discussions in Washington, D.C., about cooperative studies related to drilling and assessing gas hydrates along the Indian margins, the delegation came to Woods Hole before returning to India. V.K. Sibal served as head of the delegation after Secretary Pandey returned to India from Washington, D.C.

Delegation of visitors from India with hosts from the USGS
Above: Delegation of visitors from India with hosts from the USGS Woods Hole Science Center. From left, A.V. Sathe (ONGC, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation of India), B.S. Balla (Indian embassy), R.K. Sinha (Scientist, DGH), W.J. Winters (USGS), W.F. Waite (USGS), D.N. Narasimha Raju (Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas), V.K. Sibal (Director, DGH), D.R. Hutchinson (USGS), M. Lall (Head of the Gas Hydrates Program, DGH), W.C. Schwab (USGS), D. Mason (USGS), and B.P. Singh (GAIL, Gas Authority of India, Ltd.). [larger version]

Although the daylong visit was cut short because of an impending snowstorm, the delegation was able to tour the core-storage facility, the sediment lab, the geotechnical lab, and the GHASTLI lab, as well as participate in a short round-table discussion. We had a lively exchange about how gas hydrates occur in the natural environment and how to use laboratory studies to understand and quantify natural gas hydrates. The Indian research program emphasizes the energy-resource aspects of gas hydrates.

USGS scientists know many of the delegation from previous gas-hydrates work. Bill Winters had met many of the delegation in 2006 aboard the drill ship JOIDES Resolution during initial drilling for gas hydrates on the continental margins of India and in followup postcruise science meetings. USGS scientist Tim Collett was chief scientist during the drilling; other USGS participants were Tom Lorenson, Warren Agena, and Jim Brewton. Details about the 2006 drilling are posted at URL http://energy.usgs.gov/other/gashydrates/india.html. Tim Collett, Warren Agena, Tom Lorenson, Bill Waite, and Bill Winters worked with scientist R.K. Sinha during gas-hydrate drilling on the Alaskan North Slope in February 2007. Details about the 2007 drilling are posted at URL http://www.netl.doe.gov/technologies/oil-gas/FutureSupply/MethaneHydrates/rd-program/ANSWell/ANSWell_main.html.

After their curtailed visit, the delegation reached Boston before the worst of the snowstorm arrived, and made their (delayed) flights back to India and Washington.

Related Sound Waves Stories
Chinese Delegation Visits USGS to Discuss Gas-Hydrate Studies
October 2005
Many Visitors to the GHASTLI Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA
December 2002/January 2003
Chinese Scientists Visit USGS Gas-Hydrates Labs
October 2002

Related Web Sites
Woods Hole Science Center
USGS, Woods Hole, MA
Results of the Indian National Gas Hydrate Program (NGHP) Expedition 01
The National Methane Hydrates R&D Program - The Alaska North Slope Stratigraphic Test Well
U.S. Department of Energy

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Modeling Climate Change and Ocean Acidification

Sediment Transport at Cape Hatteras

How Avian Influenza Spreads

Research Shorebird Recovery May Require Restrictions on Bait

Awards Research Achievements in Parasitology

Staff Woods Hole Science Center Hosts Delegation from India

Oceanographer Joins NOAA's Integrated Ocean Observing System Program

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April 2009 Publications List

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