Coalbed methane producibility from the Mannville coals in Alberta, Canada: A comparison of two areas

Abstract : The Mannville coals in the Fenn area, Alberta Plains, have desorbed gas content averaging 8.57 cm3/g (275 scf/t), which is similar to the same coals in the Corbett Creek area, almost 400 km away. Vitrinite reflectance values are also similar, although the coals at Corbett Creek are situated about 300 m shallower, which points to a rank excursion from Hilt's burial law curves at Corbett Creek. Coals from both areas are within the “oil window”. The Medicine River Seam in the Fenn area has higher total inertinite content and greater proportions of inertodetrinite and detrovitrinite, suggesting that peat deposition occurred in swamps and marshes and were prone to periodic flooding. At Corbett Creek, the Mannville coal seams are characterized by greater concentrations of telo-inertinite, which contributes to coal meso-porosity and the potential for free gas storage in the open cell lumens, and to an increased gas flow along lithotype boundaries (horizontal permeability). Non-fluorescing vitrinite was present mostly in the upper Medicine River Seam, which was deposited in a regressive environment. The lower Medicine River Seam, which formed during a marine transgressive phase, contained greater amounts of fluorescing vitrinite. The Mannville coals in the Fenn area are moderately under-pressured in relation to those at Corbett Creek, which may have an impact on gas retention capacity. The difference in absolute coal permeability (1-3.5 mD at Fenn versus 3-4 mD at Corbett Creek), which is likely the result of higher in-situ stresses in the deeper Mannville coals at Fenn, has had an effect on both gas and water production rates from these coals. However, the largest impact on gas production volumes has been made by the application of horizontal drilling technology, initially at Fenn, and more recently by multiple horizontal wells drilled at Corbett Creek.
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T. Gentzis, F. Goodarzi, F.K. Cheung, Fatima Laggoun-Défarge. Coalbed methane producibility from the Mannville coals in Alberta, Canada: A comparison of two areas. International Journal of Coal Geology, Elsevier, 2008, 74 (3-4), pp.237-249. ⟨10.1016/j.coal.2008.01.004⟩. ⟨insu-00258786⟩

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