Geologic Evaluation of Critical Production Parameters for Coalbed Methane Resources, Black Warrior Basin - Final Report


Characterization of coalbed methane occurrence and producibility in the Black Warrior basin of Alabama indicates that geologic factors are the principal controls on the occurrence and producibility of coalbed methane. Results of engineering analysis indicate that application of completion and stimulation techniques may be used to increase recovery once favorable well sites are chosen. Sedimentologic and coal-quality parameters may be used to locate regions for coalbed methane development by characterizing the occurrence, rank, and grade of coal resources. However, high-productivity trends within those regions are localized, and geologic data suggest that productivity trends may be predictable on the basis of structural and hydrologic parameters.

Several highly productive trends occur along northeast-oriented lineaments. These trends evidently are the surface expression of zones of enhanced permeability which apparently are related to fractures. Productive trends also are associated with areas of low reservoir pressure, and salinity maps indicate that fresh water has migrated toward these areas from the southeast margin of the basin. The available data indicate that structure and hydrology are critical production parameters that may be used to identify favorable well sites within regions containing significant, high-quality coal resources.


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