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Atoka Geochemical Services Corporation, Englewood, Colorado

Abstract: Forest City Basin Coal-Bed Methane Potential, Northeastern Kansas and Western Missouri

The Forest City Basin is a shallow inter-cratonic depression that covers Northeastern Kansas, Northwestern Missouri, Southwestern Iowa and extreme Southeastern Nebraska. Pennsylvanian coals were deposited across the basin predominantly during Cherokee, Marmaton and Kansas City time. Prior to the 1930's the coals and associated black shales in the Kansas portion of the basin produced gas for local and commercial use. In the early 1990's several independents attempted to exploit this resource for the purpose of receiving tax credits. Exploration and assessment have been hindered in the area because a limited number of useful logs and a poor geological database. Several one well tests were drilled in Kansas that indicate that gas contents are similar to the Black Warrior and Cherokee basins. However, with the expiration of the tax credit, difficulties in completing multiple coal seams and lack of dramatic results from limited drilling the area became quiet once again. Recently, due to renewed interest in coal-bed methane in the US and strong gas markets in Eastern Kansas and Western Missouri several companies have begun to initiate leasing and drilling programs to more adequately test and exploit the coals and black shales. However, problems still exist and need to be addressed before the viability of the resource can be fully realized. Presented here is a brief history of coal exploration and exploitation in the basin, the results of coal-bed methane exploration to date, and a discussion of the problems that need to be resolved in order to effectively produce this resource.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90919©1999 AAPG Rocky Mountain Section Meeting, Bozeman, Montana