Natural gas hydrates are found widely in oceanic clay-rich sediments, where clay-water interactions have a profound effect on the formation behavior of gas hydrates. However, it remains unclear why and how natural gas hydrates are formed in clay-rich sediments in spite of factors that limit gas hydrate formation, such as small pore size and high salinity. Herein, we show that polarized water molecules on clay surfaces clearly promote gas hydrate nucleation kinetics. When water molecules were polarized with an electric field of 10(4) V/m, gas hydrate nucleation occurred significantly faster with an induction time reduced by 5.8 times. Further, the presence of strongly polarized water layers at the water-gas interface hindered gas uptake and thus hydrate formation, when the electric field was applied prior to gas dissolution. Our findings expand our understanding of the formation habits of naturally occurring gas hydrates in clay-rich sedimentary deposits and provide insights into gas production from natural hydrate deposits.