Mining Publication: Geologic Factors Influencing the Gas Content of Coalbeds in Southwestern Pennsylvania
A Bureau of Mines geologic study of Pennsylvanian and Permian coalbeds in southwestern Pennsylvania was undertaken to determine the effects of coalbed geology and petrology on in situ coalbed gas contents. Data were obtained from 18 coreholes from parts of four 7.5 ft quadrangles in southwestern Washington and northwestern Greene Counties, and from a single corehole in Westmoreland County. A total of 88 samples from 24 coalbeds were collected for direct-method testing to determine gas content. The samples were also analyzed for petrographic composition, chemical composition, and vitrinite reflectance values. Corehole information was used to generate isopach maps and geologic cross sections useful in data interpretation. Results of the investigation show that coalbed gas content is related to vitrinite reflectance, but not to petrographic composition. Gas contents are also influenced by other geologic factors such as roof rock lithology and competency, and location with respect to local fold structure.