Short Course #14: EMD Coalbed Methane

Title: Short Course #14: EMD Coalbed Methane: From Prospect to Production

Date: June 3, 2001

Taught by: C. Barker, R. A. Downey, A. R. Scott

Reviewed by: Joan Tilden

Publication: The Outcrop, July 2001, p. 10, 19

The EMD Coalbed Methane (CBM) course was well attended, with over 75 participants. Both CBM geology and engineering were covered in a fast-paced lecture format. The morning session technical topics included basic chemistry of gas sorption, CBM resources and worldwide distribution, typical reservoir characteristics, and the origin and properties of coal. Stratigraphic models were discussed and a coal exploration analogue was presented from examples in Utah and the Gulf Coast.

A CBM producibility model was presented that highlights the complex interplay between six factors: depositional system and coal distribution, coal rank, gas content, permeability, hydrodynamics, and tectonic setting. To define and delineate high quality conventional coalbed gas and associated biogenic and solution gas sources a thorough understanding of these factors, particularly basin hydrodynamics, is critical.

A general overview of coal bed reservoir engineering was presented in the afternoon session. Topics included transport mechanisms, fluid flow properties, well testing, reservoir development, and field operations, including stimulation and completion techniques. The integration of geoscience and reservoir engineering added significantly to the value of the course as a general overview. Course participants were provided partial notes from the technical presentations. Several participants noted that the visual aids could have been better.