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Coalbed Gas


Article Thumbnail Image The U.S. Geological Survey, in partnership with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the North Slope Borough, and the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation conducted a four-year study designed to identify, define, and delineate a shallow coalbed natural gas (CBNG) resource with the potential to...
Friday, March 28, 2014  Type: Publication

Article Thumbnail Image So as to better understand how the gas generation potential of coal changes with increasing rank, same-seam samples of bituminous coal from the Illinois Basin that were naturally matured to varying degrees by the intrusion of an igneous dike were subjected to hydrous pyrolysis (HP) conditions of 360...
Monday, January 13, 2014  Type: Outside Publication

Article Thumbnail Image Natural gas is an important component of the energy mix in the United States, producing greater energy yield per unit weight and less pollution compared to coal and oil. Most of the world’s natural gas resource is thermogenic, produced in the geologic environment over time by high temperature...
Friday, May 31, 2013  Type: Publication

Article Thumbnail Image Coal formation dewatering at a site in the Powder River Basin was associated with enhanced potential for secondary biogenic methane determined by using a bioassay. We hypothesized that dewatering can stimulate microbial activity and increase the bioavailability of coal. We analyzed one dewatered and...
Saturday, April 06, 2013  Type: Outside Publication

Article Thumbnail Image The Organic Petrology Laboratory (OPL) of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Eastern Energy Resources Science Center in Reston, Virginia, contains several thousand processed coal sample materials that were loosely organized in laboratory drawers for the past several decades...
Thursday, September 27, 2012  Type: Publication

Article Thumbnail Image This report discusses the geologic framework and petroleum geology used to assess undiscovered petroleum resources in the Bohaiwan basin province for the 2000 World Energy Assessment Project of the U.S. Geological Survey. The Bohaiwan basin in northeastern China is the largest petroleum-producing...
Friday, June 29, 2012  Type: Publication

Article Thumbnail Image Domestic oil and gas production and clean water are critical for economic growth, public health, and national security of the United States. As domestic oil and gas production increases in new areas and old fields are enhanced, there is increasing public concern about the effects of energy...
Sunday, April 29, 2012  Type: Publication

Article Thumbnail Image Coalbed methane (CBM) is a source of natural gas that is recovered by dewatering coal beds and collecting volatile compounds, such as methane, that are desorbed from the coal. Coalbed methane currently accounts for approximately 7% of U.S. natural-gas production (U.S. Energy Information...
Monday, September 12, 2011  Type: Outside Publication

Article Thumbnail Image The abundance of new borehole data from recent coal bed natural gas development in the Powder River Basin was utilized by the U.S. Geological Survey for the most comprehensive evaluation to date of coal resources and reserves in the Northern Wyoming Powder River Basin assessment area...
Tuesday, January 11, 2011  Type: Publication

Article Thumbnail Image Energy costs in rural Alaskan communities are substantial. Diesel fuel, which must be delivered by barge or plane, is used for local power generation in most off-grid communities.
Friday, September 17, 2010  Type: Publication
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 Coal bed exposed in outcrops of the Sagavanirktok Formation along the Shaviovik River in the east-central part of the North  Slope, Alask
Photo: Coalbed exposed in outcrops of the
Sagavanirktok Formation along the
Shaviovik River in the east-central part of
the North Slope, Alaska.

Methane and other gases, while frequently produced with petroleum, also occur in association with coal. Coalbed gas accounts for about eight percent of U.S. natural gas production. U.S. estimates (Rice, 1997) indicate more than 700 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of coalbed gas in place, with over 100 TCF economically recoverable--a five-year supply at present rates of consumption.

The USGS Energy Resources Program assesses potential U.S. coalbed gas resources including controls on the occurrence and recoverability, (including produced water) and geologic, geochemical, engineering, and technological factors.


Environmental Considerations
Environmental Considerations

Environmental Considerations

The USGS Energy Resources Team examines environmental considerations with coalbed natural gas development (CBNG) nationwide. A major portion of this is on water co-produced with CBNG, which is provided in the Energy Program’s "Produced Waters" topic.

U.S. Assessments of Undiscovered Coalbed Methane Natural Gas
U.S. Assessments of
Undiscovered CBM Natural Gas

U.S. Assessments of Undiscovered Coalbed Methane Natural Gas

Several Energy Resources Program coalbed methane assessments for the United States are currently available.

International CBM Research
International CBM Research

International CBM Research

The USGS Energy Resources Program is also focused on international cbm assessments and issues. Here are a few specific areas that may be of interest... [+]




Coal Quality and Resources of the Former Soviet Union--An Arc View Project
By Brownfield, M.E., Steinshouer, D.W., Povarennykh, M.Y., Eriomin, I., Shpirt, M., Meitov, Yevgeny, Sharova, I., Goriunova, N., and Zyrianova, M.V.
U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 01-104, 94 p. [CD-ROM]

The Republic of the Philippines Coalbed Methane Assessment: Based on Seventeen High Pressure Methane Adsorption Isotherms
By Flores, R.M., Stricker, G.D., Papasin, R.F., Pendon, R.R., del Rosario, R.A., Malapitan, R.T., Pastor, M.S., Altomea, E.A., Cuaresma, F., Malapitan, A.S., and Mortos, B.R.
U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2006-1063, 17 p

Coal Geology, Land Use, and Human Health in the People's Republic of China
By Karlsen, A.W., Schultz, A.C., Warwick, P.D., Podwysocki, S.M., and Lovern, V.S.
U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 01-318, version 1.0, on line version only

The global methane hydrate reservoir; impact on petroleum exploration [abs.]
By Kvenvolden, K.A., and Collett, T.S.
U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1060, p. 44-46

Coalbed Gas in Hungary--A Preliminary Report
By Landis, E.R., Rohrbacher, T. J., Barker, C.E., Fodor, B., and Gombar, G.
U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 01-473, version 1.0, 28 p. [CD-ROM]

Coal-bearing regions and structural sedimentary basins of China and adjacent seas
By Podwysocki, S.M., and Lovern, V.S., compilers
U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 00-047

A primer on the occurrence of coalbed methane in low-rank coals, with special reference to its potential occurrence in Pakistan
By SanFilipo, J.R.
U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 00-293, 13 p

Coal Databases
Coal Databases

Coal Databases

The U.S. Geological Survey Energy Resources Program has developed coal databases to monitor the location, quantity, and physical and chemical characteristics of U.S. coal and coal-related deposits.






Page Last Modified: Friday, February 14, 2014



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