We all know where the coalfields of Europe are located and after centuries of mining we have an accurate areal distribution of individual and total coal seam thickness. But then there are coals and there are coals... The subsurface challenge for CBM developers is to secure key geological parameters: gas content, coal saturation, isotherm data, cleat orientation, and if possible measured permeability. Historically miners generally did not collect this data so the only way of obtaining it is to drill appraisal wells with continuous coring over the coaliferous section.
Notwithstanding some knowledgeable observers stating that European coals are in a compressional stress regime and thus cannot be coerced to release gas, Composite Energy has run a CBM pilot project in the Central Valley of Scotland. Six horizontal multilateral wells have been drilled. These and an additional 4 vertical wells have been pumped and subsequently the best well produced a steady 200,000scfg/d over a 6 month period.
The presentation will take a look at:
1.some real examples of the above data and the impact of structural history on degassed zones
2.horizontal wells as a way of overcoming low perm coals
3.the achievements of the Pilot Project in Scotland
4.what next and future challenges
Composite Energy was founded in 2004 with the aim of pioneering Coal Bed Methane in Europe. Since then the Company has built a portfolio of CBM concessions in the UK, Poland and Germany with activities in Belgium and Holland. Nineteen wells have been drilled in the UK and Poland with operations planned to start in Germany and Belgium during 2011. Quietly the Company has also diversified into securing Shale resource, helped by the fact that in many basins Shale and CBM coexist. Vicariously 2 of our CBM appraisal wells in the East Midlands have recovered conventional hydrocarbons to surface.
Investment into European CBM has been somewhat eclipsed by the headlong rush into Shale. However Composite remains convinced that the very substantial CBM resource will ultimately prove cheaper and easier to develop than Shale given it’s proven status in the Central Valley of Scotland and West Midlands and its reduced environmental footprint.