Mining Publication: Site-Specific and Regional Geologic Considerations for Coalbed Gas Drainage
The Bureau of Mines has been involved in the drilling of vertical, horizontal, and directional coalbed gas drainage boreholes for mine safety since 1964. In that time, boreholes have been drilled in most of the major coal regions of the United States under a wide variety of geologic conditions. Many of the geologic conditions that occur in the coal measures are detrimental to gas drainage; others may be beneficial. Analytical techniques to determine the gas content of coal samples and evaluate regional trends of gas distribution have been developed. Drilling techniques that maximize the acquisition of coalbed gas data and geologic information have been determined. Although some of the geologic factors influencing the placement and potential success of coalbed gas drainage boreholes have been reported in papers on individual projects, a complete, systematic compilation has not previously been available. The objective of this paper is to provide information on specific geologic factors that should be considered prior to, during, and after the drilling of coalbed gas drainage boreholes. Many of the commonsense considerations that have been learned through many years of Bureau of Mines experience, but have generally not been reported formally, are included.