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www.gateinpetroleum.com Summary: What is coal? Coal Bed Methane Coal is chemically complex combustible substance. Coal

Summary:

What is coal?

Coal Bed Methane

Coal is chemically complex combustible substance. Coal contains more than 50 % organic matter by
Coal is chemically complex combustible substance. Coal contains more than 50 %
organic matter by weight and 70 % by volume. Coals are composed of marcels,
which similar as minerals in rock. There are three types of marcels
- Vitrinite
- Liptinite
- Inertinite
Coal is either classified on the basis of rank or grade. Grade is a measure of coal’s
purity. Rank represents the level of compositional maturity attained during
coalification (PEH Vol 6).
Coal ranks:
Peat (lowest quality, high moisture content, low calorific value)
Lignite
Sub-bituminous
Bituminous
Anthracite (highest quality, negligible moisture content, high calorific value)
What is coal bed methane?
Coal bed methane is high quality natural gas which requires no or minimal
processing prior to distribution in pipeline. Its composition include mainly 95 % of
methane and 5 % other gases. It does not contain H 2 S so characterized as sweet
gas.
CBM is generated by conversion of plant material to coal through burial and
heating. During process of coalification, as process progress, increasingly denser
coal is formed in order from low rank coal to high rank coal.

Methane is generated by two sources of origin: Biogenic methane &thermogenic methane.

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www.gateinpetroleum.com Biogenic methane: it’s formed by bacterial activity. Biogenic methane form s during

Biogenic methane: it’s formed by bacterial activity. Biogenic methane forms during ‘peatification’ process.

Thermogenic methane: At temperatures greater above 220 degree F carbon-carbob bond begins to break which
Thermogenic methane: At temperatures greater above 220 degree F carbon-carbob
bond begins to break which leads to generation of gas and liquid hydrocarbons that
get trapped in coal. As bituminous coal buried deeper, their hydrocarbons cracked
into thermogenic methane (PEH volume 6).
Storage of methane:
Here coal serves as both source rock and reservoir rock. Hydraulic pressure on gas
bearing reservoir coal doesn’t allow gas to produced i.e. gas remain adsorbed on
coal surface.
Methane in coal reservoirs is stored in four ways:
a. As a free gas within pores and cleats (Cleats are natural fractures in coal)
b. As a dissolved gas within water in reservoir
c. As a adsorbed gas on coal surfaces
d. As a adsorbed gas within molecular structure of coal
Capacity of coal matrix is dependent on pressure and temperature. Capacity to
store gas is given by Langmuir isotherm. The Langmuir volume is maximum
volume of gas a coal can adsorb onto its surface area. The Langmuir pressure is the
pressure at which storage capacity of coal equal to half of the Langmuir volume.
= 0.031
+
Where
3
3
,

,

,

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www.gateinpetroleum.com Cleats in coal: Natural fractures in coal are divided into mainly into two types; 1.

Cleats in coal:

Natural fractures in coal are divided into mainly into two types;

1.

Micro and macro cleat system Large joints and shears

2.
2.
1. Micro and macro cleat system Large joints and shears 2. There are two mechanisms by

There are two mechanisms by which these natural fractures are formed. ‘endogenetic cleats’ are formed during the process of physical changes in properties of coal during metamorphic process. As a result of his process, coal matter goes under density changes and it shrinks (Internal stress changes). This causes formation of cleat planes.

‘Exogenetic cleats’ this forms as a result of external loading on coal seam. These include changes in tectonic, folding and development of tensile stresses during various time period.

Endogenetic cleatsare formed normal to bedding planes. These cleats are orthogonal to each other which is known as ‘face and butt cleats’. Face cleats are parallel to faults and fold axes which indicates the local stress exert control on their development. Butt cleats terminate into face cleats orthogonally.

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www.gateinpetroleum.com Coal bed methane production: Extraction of coal from reservoir needs a drilled well. The well

Coal bed methane production:

Extraction of coal from reservoir needs a drilled well. The well is equipped with large water pump to lower hydrostatic pressure in the reservoir so that adsorbed gas can get freed. Water is produced by tubing to the surface, while gas is taken via annulus. Produced gas is then to the compressor station and next to the selling line in market.

compressor station and next to the selling line in market. CBM wells usually produced very little
compressor station and next to the selling line in market. CBM wells usually produced very little

CBM wells usually produced very little or no gas at all. De-watering of wells, reduce the pressure on the reservoir. Then gas can be de-adsorbed and produced in wellbore. Ramp up periods of 3-5 years are common. Well may produce for several years on peak period and then decline.

Enhanced methane recovery is possible from CBM wells. Coals have more affinity for CO 2 and nitrogen than that of methane. Coal releases methane to sorb CO 2 instead. Nitrogen reduces partial pressure of the methane and causing it to desorb from coal.

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www.gateinpetroleum.com Three phases of CBM production: a. De-watering stage b. Stable production stage c. Decline stage

Three phases of CBM production:

a. De-watering stage

b. Stable production stage

c. Decline stage

Reservoir evaluation: a. Core analysis - - -
Reservoir evaluation:
a.
Core analysis
-
-
-

Sorption isotherm measurements A relationship, at constant temperature describing the volume gas that can be adsorbed to a surface a function of pressure. Describes how much gas a coal seam is capable of storing and how quickly gas will released.

Proximate analysis Proximate analysis is provides the percentage of ash, moisture, fixed carbon and volatile matter.

Ultimate analysis Determines the percentage of oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, carbon, sulphur and nitrogen in gas.

- Vitrinite reflectance Determines the maturity of coal, by indicting the amount of incident light reflected on vitrinite marcel.

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www.gateinpetroleum.com - Maceral analysis - Bulk density determination b. Log analyses - Openhole logs

-

Maceral analysis

-

Bulk density determination

b.

Log analyses

- Openhole logs are not useful as gas is adsorbed to calculate matrix porosity and
-
Openhole logs are not useful as gas is adsorbed to calculate matrix porosity
and gas saturation
-
Caliper logs are useful to determine coal zones as coal intervals tend to
washed out by drilling operations.
c.
Well testing
-
Buildup tests
-
Injection /falloff tests
-
Slug tests
Well testing results are use to determine coal permeability and acreage of the
reservoir.
Gas –in place determination:
Gas in place for a coal is sum of free gas residual in cleat system and the gas
sorbed onto the surface of coal.
43,560 ∅
1 −
=
+
1.36
1 − −
Where A area, acres
h thickness, feet
Gc gas content, scf/ton
3

fa ash content, lbm ash/ lbm coal

fw water weight fraction, lbm water/lbm coal

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www.gateinpetroleum.com Reference-  www.cbmasia.ca  http://www.gazprom.com/about/production/extraction/metan/ 

Reference-

SPE Handbook volume-6

Reference-  www.cbmasia.ca  http://www.gazprom.com/about/production/extraction/metan/  SPE Handbook volume-6