Geological Assesssment of Natural Gas from Coalseams in the Northern Bowen Basin

Beamish B B, ; Johnson D P,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 11
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1991
The northern Bowen Basin has a very large resource of coalseam methane gas-in-place - 136 TCF(7ohnson and White, 1988). The gas is pipeline quality, being 98-99 per cent methane with traces of carbon dioxide and higher hydrocarbons. The largest resource of natural gas within the coalseams of the northern Bowen Basin is contained in the Moranbah Coal Measures (75 per cent). The next most important resource is in the combined upper Fort Cooper (16 per cent) and Rangal (nine per cent) Coal Measures. The far northern parts of the basin have low gas contents due to the combined effects of limited extent of the coal measures, shallow depth and low rank. Reserves per well are more than double that of the best coalseam methane wells in any basin in the United States. In some areas of the Moranbah Coal Measures, the gas-in-place estimates exceed 225 million cubic metres per well (80-acre spacing). A distinction is made between resource base, as determined from this basin assessment, and the deliverability potential. Parameters used to estimate gas-in-place (coal area, thickness, density, rank and depth) can be adequately extrapolated from areas of high- to low- data density. Parameters affecting methane production (permeability, gas depletion factor and critical desorption pressure) cannot be generalised. Exploration and development programs must rapidly develop a predictive capability for these factors, on a local scale, through geological modelling and confirmation drilling.
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