Methane Recovery from Coalbeds: A Potential Energy Source

Document Type

Statistical Report

Publication Date



This document integrates all of the available geologic and coal resource data that have been acquired in the Coalbed Methane Project over the past 5 years to determine the stratigraphic units and geographical areas wherein the methane production potential is classified as favorable. Sixteen basins were included in this compilation. Each basin is a chapter in this report. The chapter write-ups feature sections on geology, coal resource, potential methane resource and recommendations for development of the technology base needed to estimate recovery potential. Information used in the sections is supported by a list of references. The integration of these data has removed much of the uncertainty about what production potential exists and where the favorable trends are located in the basin. This will aid the producers who are considering well-drilling ventures for coalbed methane recovery. Estimates of production performance from any new wells can only be developed once fundamental reservoir property measurements are acquired. This is the next field activity required. Preliminary results of the coalbed methane resource effort show that many of the coal regions in the US have significant volumes of coalbed methane. The evaluation of the core desorption data from over 50 cooperative wells has helped DOE to refine the in-place methane estimates of the various coal regions. The summary of the methane resource estimates for 16 basins is shown in the Summary of Results Table. Based upon these initial results, the basins showing a high resource estimate of coalbed methane include the Piceance, Northern Appalachian, Central Appalachian, Powder River, and Greater Green River.

Citation / Publisher Attribution

U.S. Department of Energy, art. DOE/METC/83-76(DE83015536), 458 p.