Geologic Evaluation of Critical Prodcution Parameters for Coalbed Methane Resources

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Date

1987

Authors

Finley, Robert J.

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Abstract

Coalbeds of the United States contain an estimated 200 to 800 Tcf of unconventional gas, much of which is in seams that are unminable or uneconomic (GRID, 1985). Early studies of coalbed methane by the U.S. Bureau of Mines were directed toward degasification in advance of underground coal mining (Rightmire, 1984). The increase in energy prices in the 1970s focused attention on coalbed methane as a potential resource, and subsequently, several hundred wells have been drilled, primarily in the Black Warrior, San Juan, and Piceance Creek Basins.

The Gas Research Institute (GRI) has actively supported research aimed at developing the technology for economic production of coalbed methane. At the onset, well completions in coalbed reservoirs were a new and unperfected procedure that required innovative modification of established techniques. Therefore, earlier research efforts were directed toward the engineering problems associated with production, with less emphasis on geologic and hydrologic parameters that control coalbed methane occurrence and producibility. Knowledge of these geologic controls has been found, however, to be important to successful well completions and to the development of regional exploration models.

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