A new type of borehole packer has been developed and tested which has proved superior in performance to the conventional balloon-type packers and yet costs less than half that of the balloon types. The new packer, designed and manufactured by James H. Cobbs engineering, works on a unique compression principle and thus cannot suffer a rupture of its sealing element. The simplicity of the new packer permits it to be easily disassembled in the field for maintenance. Moreover, its weight has been reduced to about half that of the balloon types. Interest in packers has grown because of the Bureau of Mines' search for improved methods for controlling the emission of methane in coal beds. One control technique would divert the methane from an active face area through the use of horizontal holes drilled in the coal bed. Another method employs water infusion to block the methane from entering the face area. In each case the methane emissions in the active face area are cut down, thus reducing the possibility of a methane ignition.