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AAPG GEO 2010 Middle East
Geoscience Conference & Exhibition
Innovative Geoscience Solutions – Meeting Hydrocarbon Demand in Changing Times
March 7-10, 2010 – Manama, Bahrain

Coalbed Methane (CBM) Prospect in Jamalganj Coal Field, Bangladesh

Md. Habibur Rahman1

(1) Petroleum Geoscience, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Tronoh, Perak, Malaysia.

Methane and coal are formed together during coalification, a process in which plant biomass is converted by biological and geological forces into coal. The Methane that is stored in coal seams and the surrounding strata are released during coal mining.

Although coalbed methane (CBM) technology is yet to start in Bangladesh there is a good prospect of CBM development in certain coal fields especially in Jamalganj coal field. The high-volatile to medium-volatile bituminous coal of Jamalganj coal field is very suitable for CBM exploration in terms of their depth of occurrence, thickness of coal seam, coal reserve and areal extent. The thickest seam III (over 40m ) can be a primary target for CBM development especially where it combines with seam IV in the eastern part of the coalfield. However, there are a number of unknown factors like actual gas content of coal, the coal permeability, and in-seam pressure that should be evaluated before the commercial CBM development.

In fact, interest in CBM development in Jamalganj coal field was shown by a multinational company. In early 1990s, the company submitted a proposal for undertaking exploration and development of CBM in Jamalganj coal field. They projected a conceptual target of producing 26 billion cubic feet gas per year. Accordingly, the total gas that could be produced would be about 340 bcf (0.34 Tcf ). However there was no report of a positive negotiation between the company and the Government of Bangladesh subsequent to the submission of the report.

Bangladesh is now badly in need of energy resources for her growing economy, that’s why CBM exploration in Jamalganj coal field can be a very good option. It can provide natural gas that is equivalent to a small size gas field compared to eastern Bangladesh gas province.