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U.S. Geological Survey
Open-File Report 02-105
Online Version 1.0

Coalbed Methane Production in the Appalachian Basin

U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 02-105


By Robert C. Milici

Coalbed methane (CBM) is produced within the southern part of the Appalachian Basin in the Warrior Basin of Alabama; within the central part of the Appalachian Basin in the Pocahontas Basin of southwestern Virginia, southern West Virginia, and eastern Kentucky; and in several areas in the northern part of the Appalachian Basin in Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia, and Ohio. In the Appalachian Basin, CBM is produced from bituminous coal beds of Pennsylvanian age: (1) as a safety measure in advance of underground mining, (2) may be produced after underground mining from fractured rock wastes (gob) and especially from the breakdown of roof rock generated by longwall mining, and (3) commonly is produced from unmined coal beds.

CBM development may be regarded as mature in the southern Appalachians where production in Alabama is relatively constant at about 110 Billion cubic feet (Bcf) annually. There is still opportunity for additional growth in the Pocahontas Basin, where Virginia's annual production has recently exceeded 50 Bcf. In addition, opportunities are emerging for producing the large, diffuse CBM resources in Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia, and Ohio as additional wells are drilled and technology improves.


[This report is preliminary and has not been reviewed for conformity with U.S. Geological Survey editorial standards or with the North American stratigraphic code. Any use of trade, product or firm names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.]


READ the report | For questions about the content of this report, contact Robert C. Milici (rmilici@usgs.gov).

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
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