Gas saturation and CO2 enhancement potential of coalbed methane reservoirs as a function of depth

Yves Gensterblum, Alexej Merkel, Andreas Busch, Bernhard M. Krooss, Ralf Littke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The influence of moisture, temperature, coal rank, and differential enthalpy on the methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) sorption capacity of coals of different rank has been investigated by using high-pressure sorption isotherms at 303, 318, and 333 K (CH4) and 318, 333, and 348 K (CO2), respectively. The variation of sorption capacity was studied as a function of burial depth of coal seams using the corresponding Langmuir parameters in combination with a geothermal gradient of 0.03 K/m and a normal hydrostatic pressure gradient. Taking the gas content corresponding to 100% gas saturation at maximum burial depth as a reference value, the theoretical CH4 saturation after the uplift of the coal seam was computed as a function of depth. According to these calculations, the change in sorption capacity caused by changing pressure, temperature conditions during uplift will lead consistently to high saturation values. Therefore, the commonly observed undersaturation of coal seams is most likely related to dismigration (losses into adjacent formations and atmosphere). Finally, we attempt to identify sweet spots for CO2-enhanced coalbed methane (CO2-ECBM) production. The CO2-ECBM is expected to become less effective with increasing depth because the CO2-to-CH 4 sorption capacity ratio decreases with increasing temperature and pressure. Furthermore, CO2-ECBM efficiency will decrease with increasing maturity because of the highest geochemistry of petroleum and coal sorption capacity ratio and affinity difference between CO2 and CH4 for low mature coals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-420
Number of pages26
JournalAAPG Bulletin
Volume98
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Fuel Technology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geology

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