Information about the presence and recovery of coalbed gas during underground mining and attempts to recover the gas as an energy source, plus new data about gas storage capacity, petrography, maturity, and other coal quality factors, indicate that the coals of the Mecsek Basin may contain large quantities of coalbed gas that is largely methane. Two preliminary estimates of the total gas content of the coalfield are 0.28e+11 m3 (almost 1 trillion cubic feet) and 1.13e+11 m3 (nearly 4 trillion cubic feet). Although much more information is needed about gas contents, permeabilities and other reservoir factors, the available geologic information may be sufficient to identify target areas for exploration. Efforts required to evaluate production potential are warranted. ?? 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.