Natural gas hydrate deposits have been estimated to store about 10% of gas in hydrate form (even with regard to a higher concentration of gas in hydrates), proceeding from the known ratio of dissolved-to-deposited gas. This high percentage is largely due to the fact that the buffer factor in natural gas hydrate deposits is lower than that for free gas because of less diverse structural conditions for gas accumulation. Therefore, the available appraisal of world resources of hydrated gas needs a revision.
Hydrates in rocks are either syngenetic or epigenetic. Syngenetic hydrates originate from free or dissolved gas which was present in rocks in situ at the time when PT-conditions became favorable for gas hydrate formation. Epigenetic hydrates are derived from gas which came by migration into rocks with their PT-conditions corresponding to formation of gas hydrates.
In addition to the optimum PT-conditions and water salinity, economic gas hydrate accumulation requires sustained supply of natural gas into a specific zone of gas hydrate formation. This condition is feasible only in the case of vertical migration of natural gas along faults, fractured zones, and lithologic windows, or, less often, as a result of lateral migration.
Of practical importance are only the gas hydrate deposits produced by vertical or lateral gas migration.