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Abstract: Kansas Coal Resources and Their Potential for Coalbed Methane


Kansas has large amounts of bituminous coal in the subsurface of eastern Kansas. Preliminary estimates indicate at least 53 billion tons of deep coal (^rang100 ft.) determined from 32 coal beds. Most of this total is represented by coal beds in the Cherokee Group (Middle Pennsylvanian) in the eastern one-fourth of the state. Coal beds with the largest resource totals include the Bevier, Mineral, "Aw" (unnamed coal bed), Riverton, and Weir-Pittsburg coals, all within the Cherokee Group. Coals in the southeast part of the state are generally high-volatile A bituminous coal, while coals in the east-central and northeast part of the state are high-volatile B bituminous coal to possibly higher rank in the deeper parts of the Forest City basin. These rank assessments are based on chemical analyses. Published vitrinite reflectance values indicate possible lower maturation of the coals. The primary concern of Kansas coal beds are the thin (^lang 2 ft.) presence of most of the beds, although the coals tend to be widespread in distribution. Evaluation of over 600 geophysical logs in eastern Kansas indicate that 45 billion tons of the resource figure is less than 28 inches thick and only two billion tons of coal is in beds greater than 42 inches.

Present production of coalbed methane is centered mainly in the Wilson-Montgomery County area of southeast Kansas where methane is produced from the Riverton and Weir-Pittsburg coals.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90944©1997 AAPG Mid-Continent Section Meeting, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma