Mining Publication: Problems Facing Coal Mining and Gas Production in the Hartshorne Coalbeds of the Western Arkoma Basin, OK
Major problems facing the development of coal and gas resources of the Hartshorne Coalbeds include the complex distribution of minable and unminable coal, high methane content and bed pressure, faulting, variations in degree of dip, presence of natural gas fields in associated sandstones, and legal problems, caused by local geologic characteristics, in identifying gas origin. This Bureau of Mines study provides pertinent geologic information for long-range planning of subsurface coal and gas production from the Hartshorne coalbeds. Pittsburg, Coal, Hughes, and Atoka Counties, Oklahoma, have approximately 1 billion metric tons (1.1 billion short tons) of Hartshorne coal in place. The methane resource of Hartshorne coalbeds is estimated at 9.2 billion m3 (325 billion ft3) and varies with overburden and rank. These estimates were compiled from gas well density logs, coal-core data, outcrop measurements, abandoned mine maps, and the literature. The Hartshorne Coalbeds represent a valuable coal and gas resource which at present is contributing nothing to coal and gas production. This report discusses potential problems and serves as a reference for future exploration and development work. Recognition of these potential geologically related problems prior to development of this basin will reduce hazards and allow for an economic recovery of these resources.