Fact Sheet 2006-3132
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wyoming Reservoir Management Group and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began a cooperative project in 1999 to collect technical and analytical data on coalbed methane (CBM) resources and quality of the water produced from coalbeds in the Wyoming part of the Powder River Basin. The agencies have complementary but divergent goals and these kinds of data are essential to accomplish their respective resource evaluation and management tasks. The project also addresses the general public need for information pertaining to Powder River Basin CBM resources and development.
BLM needs, which relate primarily to the management of CBM resources, include improved gas content and gas in-place estimates for reservoir characterization and resource/reserve assessment, evaluation, and utilization. USGS goals include a basinwide assessment of CBM resources, an improved understanding of the nature and origin of coalbed gases and formation waters, and the development of predictive models for the assessment of CBM resources that can be used for such purposes in other basins in the United States (for example, the Bighorn, Greater Green River, and Williston Basins) and in other countries throughout the world (for example, Indonesia, New Zealand, and the Philippines).
Samples of coal, produced water, and gas from coalbed methane drill holes throughout the Powder River Basin, many of which are adjacent to several active mine areas (figs. 1, 2), have been collected by personnel in the USGS, BLM Reservoir Management Group, and Casper and Buffalo BLM Field Offices. Sampling was done under confidentiality agreements with 29 participating CBM companies and operators. Analyses run on the samples include coal permeability, coal quality and chemistry, coal petrography and petrology, methane desorption and adsorption, produced-water chemistry, and gas composition and isotopes. The USGS has supplied results to the BLM Reservoir Management Group for their resource management needs, and data are released when the terms of the confidentiality agreements are completed and consent is obtained.
Posted January 2007
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