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Coalbed Methane Development in Ohio

Slucher, Ernie R., James Mcdonald
Ohio Division of Geological Survey, Columbus, OH 

Energy resource analysis suggests a potential of approximately 11.5 Tcf of recoverable coalbed methane in the northern Appalachian Basin. The Ohio portion of the basin contains as much as 2,000 feet of coal-bearing rocks that may include over 50 individual coal beds. However, these coals are not evenly distributed throughout the state, nor are all of significant thickness to warrant economic consideration for mining. Multiple data sets at the Ohio Division of Geological Survey provide evidence of several small gas fields that, at various times in the past 80 years, were developed in coal beds. However, currently only one coal-mine gas operation exists; gas is being produced from abandoned deep mines in a small area of Harrison County. Recent coal assessment studies and a geologic CO2 sequestration investigation by the Division indicate there may be a significant potential for future coalbed methane production in the state. Digital stratigraphic databases form the framework for a GIS analysis of the potential for coalbed methane production in selected coal beds in the Ohio portion of the northern Appalachian Basin. Using ArcGIS software, statewide maps of selected coal beds were produced and queried to determine and illustrate areas that may be conducive for coalbed methane recovery.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90031©2004 AAPG Eastern Section Meeting, Columbus, Ohio, October 3-5, 2004