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Coalbed Methane: Clean Energy for the World

This article sheds a light on the special geology and production requirements of coal bed methane (CBM). It describes some challenges of drilling and cementing in CBM plays, but unfortunately the authors waste no thought on risks of CBM production like groundwater contamination or massive methane leakage which further damages the climate.

From the article introduction:
Coalbed methane can be found almost anywhere there is coal. Considered a dangerous nuisance in the mining industry, it has potential as an abundant clean energy supply to help replace other diminishing hydrocarbon reserves. Recent developments in technologies and methodologies are playing a large part in harnessing this unconventional resource. Some of these are adaptations of those used in conventional oil and gas operations, but others are new applications designed specifically to address coal’s unique properties.

Abstract as given by the USGS:
Coalbed methane (CBM) has the potential to emerge as a significant clean energy resource. It also has the potential to replace other diminishing hydrocarbon reserves. The latest developments in technologies and methodologies are playing a key role in harnessing this unconventional resource. Some of these developments include adaptations of existing technologies used in conventional oil and gas generations, while others include new applications designed specifically to address coal’s unique properties. Completion techniques have been developed that cause less damage to the production mechanisms of coal seams, such as those occurring during cementing operations. Stimulation fluids have also been engineered specifically to enhance CBM production. Deep coal deposits that remain inaccessible by conventional mining operations offer CBM development opportunities.

Bibliography:
Ahmed Al-Jubori and Sean Johnston, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Chuck Boyer and Stephen W. Lambert, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Oscar A. Bustos, Sugar Land, Texas, USA; Jack C. Pashin, Geological Survey of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Andy Wray, Denver, Colorado, USA
Coalbed Methane: Clean Energy for the World
Oilfield Review Summer 2009: 21, no. 2.

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