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Gas hydrates are crystalline compounds that can form when water or ice and suitably sized molecules are brought together under favourable conditions, usually at low temperatures and elevated pressures.
Gas hydrates could form in numerous hydrocarbon production and processing operations, causing serious operational and safety concerns. In the natural environment, suitable conditions for methane hydrate formation can be found in some marine and deep lake sediments, and in the subsurface of arctic permafrost regions. Current estimates suggest that the energy held in this form is twice that of total fossil fuels, a vast untouched natural gas reserve.