Mining Publication: Determining the Source of Longwall Gob Gas: Lower Kittanning Coalbed, Cambria County, PA
This report presents results of a cooperative research project between the U.S. Bureau of Mines and Bethenergy Mines, Inc. Four coreholes (two before mining and two after mining) were drilled at a longwall mine operating in the Lower Kittanning coalbed to obtain coal and rock samples from overlying strata to determine their gas content at various times in the mining cycle. The results of those tests indicate that 91 pct of the gas removed from the overlying strata came from coalbeds. Material balance calculations were made to compare the volume of gas produced both from gob gas vent holes drilled on the panel and gas removed by the mine's ventilation system with the volume of gas removed from strata directly overlying the panel to a height of 275 ft. This analysis indicates that only 40 pct of the total gas produced from the panel actually came from the strata directly overlying the panel. The remaining volume of gas production probably migrated to the longwall gob from overlying, and perhaps underlying, strata immediately adjacent to the panel and perhaps from greater distances downdip because of the establishment of a long-term pressure gradient in the study area.