Geological Factors Affecting Methane In The Beckley Coalbed
Description:This Bureau of Mines study reviews the geological factors that affect methane in the Beckley coalbed in southern West Virginia, including overburden, coalbed structure, type of and changes in lithology above and below the Beckley coalbed, and presence of fractures in the coal and rock adjacent to the Beckley. Depending on the depth, the Beckley coalbed emits from 216 to 520 ft3 of methane per ton of coal mined, and the Bureau estimates that methane emission in a deep, extensively developed mine in this area may exceed 3,000 ft3 per day per ton of coal mined. Average face cleat and butt cleat trends in the Beckley coalbed measured underground are N 33° W and N 53° E, respectively. Close cleat spacing con- tributes to the friable nature of the Beckley and provides easy movement for methane and water. Because rider coals, splits, and carbonaceous shales may contribute methane to mine emissions, predictions of methane emission based on gas content of the Beckley coalbed alone may be conservative. Beckley coalbed reserves in the study area are 234 million tons. The gas content of the Beckley coalbed averages 407 ft3/ton, and the coalbed gas reserves are 108 billion ft3.
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