Gas hydrate resource potential of deepwater Sabah, Malaysia: A preliminary assessment

Author : Mazlan Madon
Publication : Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia
Page : 1 - 15
Volume Number : 74
Year : 2022

Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia, Volume 74, November 2022, pp. 1 – 15


Gas hydrate resource potential of deepwater Sabah, Malaysia: A preliminary assessment


Mazlan Madon

Malaysian Continental Shelf Project, National Security Council, c/o 11th Floor, Wisma JUPEM, Jalan Semarak, 50578 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Author email address:


Abstract: Offshore NW Sabah is one of the localities identified in the United States Geological Survey (USGS) global hydrates
database but not much work has been done on this potential source of energy for Malaysia and the surrounding region. The presence of gas hydrates in this area is mainly inferred from bottom-simulating reflectors (BSR) identified in seismic reflection profiles across the margin. BSRs have been mapped across almost the entire length of the deepwater fold-thrust belt in the Sabah Trough where they are commonly observed within the crests of fold-thrust anticlines. Based on an average geothermal gradient of 62.5 °C/km, the thickness of the gas hydrate stability zone is predicted to vary with water depth from zero at 640 m water depth to 300 m at 2900 m water depth. The total in-place methane resource from the Sabah gas hydrates is estimated to range from 72 to 852 trillion cu. ft. (TCF) (2.06 – 24.1 x 1012 m3) with a mean of 364 TCF (10.3 x 1012 m3) and a most likely (P50) value of 252 TCF (7.1 x 1012 m3). These preliminary estimates may seem large but they are comparable with those from other gas hydrate deposits in the region. More work is required to refine them in order to determine how much of the in situ volume is technically and economically recoverable.


Keywords: Offshore Sabah, gas hydrates, bottom-simulating reflector, methane, gas hydrate stability zone, gas resource



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Manuscript received 13 February 2022;

Received in revised form 25 March 2022;

Accepted 28 March 2022

Available online 30 November 2022


0126-6187; 2637-109X / Published by the Geological Society of Malaysia


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