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Fundamentals of Coalbed Methane (CBM) Development (UCR02)


    This course provides an introduction to Coalbed Methane, from a basic understanding of CBM to exploration, appraisal and development of the resource.

    • History: Where did CBM come from? What were the technical and economic drivers?
    • Exploration: Where to start, what data is required and how to get it?
    • Appraisal: What is involved in the appraisal process of a CBM resource?
    • Well design: There are many different varieties of CBM well design, these all have different applications and different "footprints".
    • The course also provides an overview of CBM development considerations: Planning, community engagement, development optimisation, processing facilities, access to market and environmental considerations.

    Course Level: Foundation / Skill
    Duration: 5 days
    Instructor: Don Sharples

    Designed for you, if you are...

    • A technical person who wants to better understand coalbed methane production
    • A commercial or finance person who wants to understand and evaluate opportunities in this energy sector
    • A government official involved with permitting of CBM activity
    • A professional working in a CBM company and looking to cross train

    This course starts from the basics and is intended for those with no prior knowledge of CBM or technical skills.

    How we build your confidence

    This course will take you through all aspects of CBM exploration, appraisal and development, giving you an ability to understand what is involved in a CBM project. This is achieved by a mixture of conventional lecture material, videos and exercises as appropriate.

    The benefits from attending

    By the end of the course you will feel confident in your understanding of the fundamentals of exploration, appraisal and development of coalbed methane reserves and the technologies involved, including:

    • Drilling, coring, sampling, desorption testing
    • Well testing techniques, well spacing
    • Wells: Types of design (vertical, horizontal, multi-laterals)
    • Environmental constraints: De-watering technologies, surface processing equipment, water treatment and disposal


    • Introduction
      - Conventional vs. unconventional
      - Introduction to the Langmuir Isotherm
    • History
      - Coal mine de-gasification
      - Initial development of CBM in the US
    • Exploration objectives
      - Resource => reserves
      - Key CBM criteria
      - Mineralogy and the initial screening process
    • Exploration process
      - Rig selection
      - Coring
      - Sampling
      - Desorption testing
      - CBM logging
    • Permeability testing
      - Importance of permeability testing
      - Alternative methods for deriving 'representative' permeability values
    • CBM appraisal
      - How to appraise a CBM resource
      - Well spacing
      - Pilot production testing
    • Well design options
      - Impact on production rates and recovery
      - De-watering technologies
    • CBM development well design
      - Overview of different alternatives from the basic well design to current practise
      - Impact of the different designs on surface footprint
    • Fracture stimulation of CBM wells
      - Principles and application of fracture stimulation to CBM production enhancement
    • Development considerations - planning to execution
      - Development considerations (Part 1)
      - Surface footprint
      - Development / mapping exercise
    • CBM reservoir engineering
    • CBM development considerations - facilities to sales
      - Development considerations (Part 2)
      - Surface facilities through to gas sales
      - CBM development including water treatment technology
      - Different sales options and how these will impact design



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