Coalbed Methane Potential of the Pechora Coalfield, Timan-Pechora Basin, Russia
V. P. Yakutseni, Y. E. Petrova, B. E. Law, and G. F.
A comparison of the more important geologic attributes of coal beds in the, coalbed methane producing regions of the United States to Permian coal beds in the Pechora Coalfield, Timan-Pechora Basin, Russia indicate a high potential for commercial coalbed methane production. Although the depositional and structural histories, as well as the age, of the coal beds in the Pechora Coalfield are different than coal beds in U.S. basins, coal quality attributes are similar. The more prospective part of the coal-bearing sequence is as thick as 1600 m and contains more than 150 coal beds that individually are as thick as 4 m. These coal beds are composed primarily of humic type organic matter with ash contents ranging from 15 to 38%. Coal rank ranges from subbituminous to anthracit (<0.5 - >2.5% R0), with the highest rank coals located near the city of Vorkuta. Published data indicates that the gas content of coals is as high as 28-35 m3/ton, with an average value of 18 m3/ton. About 700 MMCM of gas per year is emmitted from coal mines. Pore pressures in the coal beds are unknown, however, interbedded sandstones in some parts of the basin are overpressured. The commonly occurring problem, in mid-latitude coalbed methane wells, of excessive amounts of water may be alleviated in this high-latitude coal field. We suggest that the wide-spread occurrence of permafrost in the Pechora Coalfield may form an effective barrier to down-dip water flow, thereby facilitating the dewatering stage. In summary, the quality of coal beds in the Pechora Coalfield are similar to methane producing coal beds in the United States and should, therefore, be favorable for commercial rates of gas production.
AAPG Search and Discover Article #91019©1996 AAPG Convention and Exhibition 19-22 May 1996, San Diego, California