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Stratigraphy and structure of coalbed methane reservoirs in the United States: an overview

International Journal of Coal Geology

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DOI: 10.1016/S0166-5162(97)00013-X

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Abstract

Stratigraphy and geologic structure determine the shape, continuity and permeability of coal and are therefore critical considerations for designing exploration and production strategies for coalbed methane. Coal in the United states is dominantly of Pennsylvanian, Cretaceous and Tertiary age, and to date, more than 90% of the coalbed methane produced is from Pennsylvanian and cretaceous strata of the Black Warrior and San Juan Basins. Investigations of these basins establish that sequence stratigraphy is a promising approach for regional characterization of coalbed methane reservoirs. Local stratigraphic variation within these strata is the product of sedimentologic and tectonic processes and is a consideration for selecting completion zones. Coalbed methane production in the United States is mainly from foreland and intermontane basins containing diverse compression and extensional structures. Balanced structural models can be used to construct and validate cross sections as well as to quantify layer-parallel strain and predict the distribution of fractures. Folds and faults influence gas and water production in diverse ways. However, interwell heterogeneity related to fractures and shear structures makes the performance of individual wells difficult to predict.Stratigraphy and geologic structure determine the shape, continuity and permeability of coal and are therefore critical considerations for designing exploration and production strategies for coalbed methane. Coal in the United States is dominantly of Pennsylvanian, Cretaceous and Tertiary age, and to date, more than 90% of the coalbed methane produced is from Pennsylvanian and Cretaceous strata of the Black Warrior and San Juan Basins. Investigations of these basins establish that sequence stratigraphy is a promising approach for regional characterization of coalbed methane reservoirs. Local stratigraphic variation within these strata is the product of sedimentologic and tectonic processes and is a consideration for selecting completion zones. Coalbed methane production in the United States is mainly from foreland and intermontane basins containing diverse compressional and extensional structures. Balanced structural models can be used to construct and validate cross sections as well as to quantify layer-parallel strain and predict the distribution of fractures. Folds and faults influence gas and water production in diverse ways. However, interwell heterogeneity related to fractures and shear structures makes the performance of individual wells difficult to predict.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Stratigraphy and structure of coalbed methane reservoirs in the United States: an overview
Series title:
International Journal of Coal Geology
DOI:
10.1016/S0166-5162(97)00013-X
Volume
35
Issue:
1-4
Year Published:
1998
Language:
English
Publisher:
Elsevier Sci B.V.
Publisher location:
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
209
Last page:
240
Number of Pages:
32