Coal Gas Big on EMD Agenda

Heating Up as Top Topic

According to our EMD president's report to the Advisory Council and the House of Delegates at the Houston AAPG meeting, coalbed methane (CBM) resources — exploration and production — represent one of "our most active areas."

This was very evident during the recent Houston meeting. Two poster sessions covered CBM topics, along with one CBM/coal field trip.

(Despite its "hot topic" status, the CBM short course was unfortunately cancelled due to low early registration numbers. If you missed this one, register early next time!)

Here are other examples of how coalbed methane is heating up as an important topic:

➤ In February, EMD participated in publicizing the Strategic Research Institute's "Coalbed Methane Produced Water Strategies" conference held in Durango, Colo. EMD members received conference brochures and will receive electronic copies of the conference findings as well.

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According to our EMD president's report to the Advisory Council and the House of Delegates at the Houston AAPG meeting, coalbed methane (CBM) resources — exploration and production — represent one of "our most active areas."

This was very evident during the recent Houston meeting. Two poster sessions covered CBM topics, along with one CBM/coal field trip.

(Despite its "hot topic" status, the CBM short course was unfortunately cancelled due to low early registration numbers. If you missed this one, register early next time!)

Here are other examples of how coalbed methane is heating up as an important topic:

➤ In February, EMD participated in publicizing the Strategic Research Institute's "Coalbed Methane Produced Water Strategies" conference held in Durango, Colo. EMD members received conference brochures and will receive electronic copies of the conference findings as well.

➤ Laura Wray, EMD's Rocky Mountain councilor, presented a talk to the Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists on the CBM potential of the Denver Basin.

Wray also reports that the Colorado Geological Survey has received a two-year grant from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to conduct an assessment of the CBM potential of the Sand Wash, North and Middle Park basins of Colorado.

The CGS has convened an Industry Advisory Group to oversee this new project.

➤ Eastern Section councilor Douglas Patchen reports that the West Virginia Geological Survey is promoting CBM activity by providing updates on the emerging CBM play in southern West Virginia.

The WVGS also is cooperating with the Petroleum Technology Transfer Council to add a "CBM wells layer" to the basin GIS for West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Virginia, including data tables for individual wells.

As AAPG general chairman for the 2003 Eastern Section meeting to be held concurrently with the SPE Eastern Region meeting in Pittsburgh, Patchen also promises a strong EMD session including CBM talks.

➤ Mid-Continent councilor Samuel Friedman reports that CBM was featured prominently in the Mid-Continent meeting in Amarillo last fall, and that planning is under way for more papers and a field trip for the 2003 meeting in Tulsa.

➤ Douglas Peters reports that CBM resources and projects will be included in the topics to be covered by the proposed "full-cycle" symposium on "Energy Solids, Liquids and Gases: Exploration Through Project Completion," planned for July 2003. Expect a "call for papers" to be issued soon.

➤ CBM Committee chairman Walter Ayers' report to the board included a summary of CBM activity nationally and internationally. Highlights from Ayers' report include:

  • The United States continues to lead the world in CBM exploration, reserves and production.
  • Fifteen basins in the United States sustain commercial production, which totaled 1.38 Tcf for the year 2000 — this constituted 7.2 percent of the dry natural gas production in the lower 48 states and represented a fifteen-fold increase over the 1989 production of 91 Bcf.
  • The San Juan, Raton and Piceance basins of Colorado and New Mexico accounted for 73 percent of domestic production.
  • CBM reserves for 2000 were about 15.7 Tcf, which constituted 8.8 percent of the U.S. dry natural gas reserves. This represented a more than four-fold increase over the CBM reserves reported for 1989 of 3.7 Tcf.

Ayers also reported that CBM is being produced commercially in the Bowen Basin of Queensland, Australia. CBM exploration, test wells or pilot projects are ongoing in several countries including the United Kingdom, China and India. Additional information about CBM activity is available upon request.

Ayers also reported that an outline has been submitted by J. Pashin et al for an EMD CBM publication. This is currently under review.


EMD is requesting e-mail addresses for all EMD members.

Many of these addresses have changed, and others have never been recorded.

Why the request? We would like to send our newsletter to you by e-mail in order to reduce our expenses (but if you prefer to receive it by mail, please let us know).

E-mail also allows us to quickly update you on news and events concerning EMD commodities and technologies.

Please send your e-mail address to Norma Newby at AAPG.

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