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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 67 (1983)

Issue: 3. (March)

First Page: 483

Last Page: 483

Title: Coal-Bed Methane Development in Warrier Coalfield of Alabama: ABSTRACT

Author(s): W. J. Herz, D. A. Thompson, C. E. Brett, J. R. Holland

Article Type: Meeting abstract


The University of Alabama School of Mines and Energy Development is conducting research on coal-bed methane development and utilization in the Warrior coalfield. Four test core holes, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, have been drilled to depths of 2,800 to 3,400 ft (853 to 1,036 m). Gas quantities from coal samples were obtained by non-isothermal desorption and gas quality was determine by chromatographic analyses. Data from these tests were used to estimated total gas resources on targets of varying acreage around each core hole. Seams of the Pratt, Mary Lee, and Black Creek coal groups were found to have the greatest potential with gas contents ranging from 200 to 400 ft3 per ton, typically consisting of about 95% methane. An evaluation of well comple ion options and stimulation techniques indicate that multiple stimulation open-hole completion provides the best return on investment. Utilization options considered include: (1) direct on-site use as a fuel for heating, (2) vehicular fuel, (3) sale to a gas transmission company, and (4) sale to other users (local only). The feasibility of various well completion and gas utilization options was assessed using Internal Rate of Return (IRR) techniques over a 10-year life with 50% to 75% recoverability. These analyses indicate an acceptable rate-of-return, but are tentative as the percentage of in-place gas that can be recovered and the optimum well spacing are still under investigation. A demonstration well completed on the University of Alabama campus is being observed to confirm estimate of production rate, capital cost, and operating expenses.

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