Production waters associated with the Ferron coalbed methane fields, central Utah: Chemical and isotopic composition and volumes

International Journal of Coal Geology



This study investigated the composition of water co-produced with coalbed methane (CBM) from the Upper Cretaceous Ferron Sandstone Member of the Mancos Shale in east-central Utah to better understand coalbed methane reservoirs. The Ferron coalbed methane play currently has more than 600 wells producing an average of 240 bbl/day/well water. Water samples collected from 28 wellheads in three fields (Buzzards Bench, Drunkards Wash, and Helper State) of the northeast-southwest trending play were analyzed for chemical and stable isotopic composition.Water produced from coalbed methane wells is a Na-Cl-HCO3 type. Water from the Drunkards Wash field has the lowest total dissolved solids (TDS) (6300 mg/l) increasing in value to the southeast and northeast. In the Helper State field, about 6 miles northeast, water has the highest total dissolved solids (43,000 mg/l), and major ion abundance indicates the possible influence of evaporite dissolution or mixing with a saline brine. In the southern Buzzards Bench field, water has variable total dissolved solids that are not correlated with depth or spatial distance. Significant differences in the relative compositions are present between the three fields implying varying origins of solutes and/or different water-rock interactions along multiple flow paths.Stable isotopic values of water from the Ferron range from +0.9??? to -11.4??? ?? 18O and -32??? to -90??? ?? 2H and plot below the global meteoric water line (GMWL) on a line near, but above values of present-day meteoric water. Isotopic values of Ferron water are consistent with modification of meteoric water along a flow path by mixing with an evolved seawater brine and/or interaction with carbonate minerals. Analysis of isotopic values versus chloride (conservative element) and total dissolved solids concentrations indicates that recharge water in the Buzzards Bench area is distinct from recharge water in Drunkards Wash and is about 3 ??C warmer. These variations in isotopes along with compositional variations imply that the Ferron reservoir is heterogeneous and compartmentalized, and that multiple flow paths may exist. ?? 2003 Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Production waters associated with the Ferron coalbed methane fields, central Utah: Chemical and isotopic composition and volumes
Series title International Journal of Coal Geology
DOI 10.1016/S0166-5162(03)00086-7
Volume 56
Issue 1-2
Year Published 2003
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title International Journal of Coal Geology
First page 141
Last page 169