Fractured Vertical Wells Versus Horizontal Boreholes for Methane Drainage in Advance of Mining U.S. Coals

Ahmed U, ; Abou-Sayed AS, ; Mahyera A, ; Sakashita B,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 0
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1982
Gas in U.S. coals is primarily composed of 90 to 99 percent methane and up to 10 per- cent carbon dioxide. In composition and heat- ing value, this coal-bed gas is similar to natural gas and can be introduced directly into commercial pipelines after standard condition- ing. The high permeability cleat system in the virgin coal can be exploited in order to drain the coal gas well in advance of mining. Two premining drainage methods have been extensive- ly evaluated in the U.S.; they are 1) horizon- tal boreholes collared from within the mine, and 2) vertical drilling from the surface with fracturing. Limited-size fracture treatments are advocated in order to prevent potential roof damage and the need for added support. An engineering approach to predicting gas flow for different drainage techniques near mining locations is presented. Results can be used in design, i.e. pipeline, compressor. Coal gas drainage from a horizontal borehole and a treated (contained fracture) vertical well for a 6 foot seam have been evaluated. Based on these results, it was concluded that selection of gas drainage techniques will depend primar
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