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Regional Subsurface Investigation: Coal Accumulation in the Wilcox Group, Northern Louisiana

Richard Ball
University of Louisiana at Lafayette Lafayette, Louisiana [email protected]

     Coal is the world’s most prolific fossil fuel resource. Coal bed Methane (CBM) is natural gas, one of the cleanest burning energy sources, and is produced from coal beds or coal seams. Commercial production of CBM has been achieved from coal beds as thin as 3 feet (1 meter) to beds that measure greater than 90 feet (27 meters). As the country is constantly searching for new resources to offset dependencies on foreign energy sources, all options, including CBM, should be explored. Productive CBM operations have already been established in the Black Warrior, San Juan, Powder River, and other basins.
     Gulf Coast CBM gas in place estimates are as high as 8 Tcf, making this area a candidate for exploration. While there have been more than 48 CBM wells drilled in northern Louisiana alone, the drilling programs are still in their formative years. This work on the regional distribution and accumulation of the coals may spark increased interest among independent and major gas exploration companies.
     This study is a regional synthesis of many works, that focuses on determining the distribution and accumulation of Paleocene to Early Eocene aged lower Wilcox coals. In order to complete this study, regional structure, net sand facies, net to gross sand facies, and net coal maps were created to determine where the most prospective coal accumulations are within northern Louisiana. Additional maps were created to show explicit data within specific intervals.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90070 © 2007 AAPG Foundation Grants in Aid