Deep Basin Coal (Lignite) in WilcoxGroup, Sabine Uplift, East Texas: Potential for Unconventional Coal Gas Resource Development

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2001

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The Wilcox Group in the Sabine Uplift, East Texas, contains relatively large amounts of deep-basin (220- to 2,000-ft depth) coal that may in turn contain large coalbed methane resources. The objective of the proposed study is to assemble and prepare data on coal resources in the Sabine Uplift area of East Texas for inclusion in the U.S. Geological Survey National Coal Resources Data System (NCRDS). Coal occurrence and lithofacies maps created in "The Wilcox Group (Paleocene-Eocene) in the Sabine Uplift Area, Texas: Depositional Systems and Deep-Basin Lignite" (Kaiser, 1990) were digitized and converted into a Geographic Information System (GIS) format. Associated data that were derived from geophysical logs to create these maps were then compiled into a digital spreadsheet. These digital maps and data enable prediction of coal seam thickness, geometry, and continuity and, therefore, areas of potential coalbed methane resources. The distribution of the Wilcox coals is depositionally controlled, and the stratigraphic framework of the targeted horizons defines coalbed methane exploration fairways. According to available data, the highest potential for coal bed methane production and development in the Sabine Uplift, East Texas, exists in the lower Wilcox Group coal seams in Panola and Shelby Counties.

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