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Fractal Oil Company, Norman, Oklahoma

Abstract: An Economic Evaluation Of The Hartshorne Coalbed Methane Play In Oklahoma

The effort to produce coalbed methane (CBM) from the Hartshorne coal in the Arkoma Basin of Oklahoma may or may not make economic sense. Geologic, technical, and serendipitous factors must be matched to have a profitable CBM well.

CBM production in Oklahoma began in 1926 with documented production in Pittsburgh and Haskell Counties. Modern CBM production as a result of concerted efforts began in 1988 at the Kinta anticline in Haskell County. Since then, more than 250 wells have tested the profitability of Hartshorne CBM production. Some of the best wells have produced at rates in excess of 200 MCFGPD for over a year. Rates of 25 to 75 MCFGPD are more common. The effort at the Kinta Anticline has been a commercial success, however, certain unique attributes of the coal and the operator, Bear Productions, Inc., were present. Since 1988, Bear Productions has produced in excess of 4 BCFG from 54 wells with current production in excess of 1,000 MCFGPD. The more recent CBM projects are probably still in the process of "paying out" with a distinction drawn between projects (multi-section, multi-wells) and "hit and miss" efforts (perforating the coal when a good show is observed). In 1998 for the first time in Oklahoma, a few horizontal holes have been drilled into the Hartshorne coal with some good and some poor results. Horizontal drilling may be the future of Oklahoma CBM.

The Arkoma Basin's ample endowment of CBM resources has attracted an initial investment. Has "scratching the surface" determined it is wise to "plunge in"?

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90921©1999 AAPG Mid-Continent Section Meeting, Wichita, Kansas