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Commercial-Quality Gas From A Multipurpose Borehole Located In The Pittsburgh Coalbed
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  • Description:
    The Bureau of Mines has been promoting health and safety in mining since its establishment in 1910. One area of research covers methane control in coalbeds; this report describes a multipurpose borehole used for both degasification and the production of commercial-quality gas. The multipurpose borehole was drilled into a barrier pillar, and seven horizontal degasification holes and one pressure point hole were drilled radially out from its perimeter. On January 28, 1974, after 505 days of degasification, a compressor was installed to the exhaust stack of the multipurpose borehole (2), and pipeline--quality gas was introduced into a commercial pipeline. As of February 4, 1975, over 171 million cubic feet of gas had been purchased by the gas company. The in situ pressure at a depth of 200 feet into the coalbed and the average gas flow and water flow from the degasification holes as they were completed and closed off were 203 psig, 1,200,000 cfd, and 6.8 gpm, respectively. Twenty-four hours after the seven holes were connected through individual pipes to the atmosphere, the total gas and water flows and the in situ pressure dropped, respectively, to 971,000 cfd, 1.3 gpm, and 18 psig. Five hundred days later, the corresponding values were 620,000 cfd, 0.15 gpm, and 10.5 psig. Daily flows have been as high as 800,000 cfd, and as low as 360,000 cfd, during the last 500 days. On February 4, 1975, after 882 days of degasification, 576 million cubic feet of gas had been removed from the Pittsburgh coalbed; apparently a much larger area of virgin coal is being degasified than is defined by the holes. This study indicates that horizontal boreholes drilled into a coalbed from the bottom of any shaft will effectively remove gas from the Pittsburgh coalbed.

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