Evaluation of Alternative Placement of Longwall Gob Gas Ventholes for Optimum Performance
Description:In this U.S. Bureau of Mines study, production trends have been analyzed for 82 gob gas ventholes on 7 longwall panels in the Lower Kittanning Coalbed, Pennsylvania. Cumulative production from individual holes was found to vary considerably, ranging from 0.03 x 106 to 10.1 x 106 m3. Peak production rates were generally about 0.03 x 106 to 0.06 x 106 m3/d, but rates over 0.10 x 1@ m3/d were observed. The variability of gas production from individual holes can be attributed to several factors, including completion practices and problems, the extent of fracture development in the strata above the extracted panel, water production, and location on the panel. Of particular significance is hole location. Holes on the ends of the panels, where overburden strata are in tension because of the support of the surrounding pillars, were generally the highest and longest producers. This observation led to the experimental placement of gob gas ventholes in the zone of tension along the margin of a panel, instead of in the traditional centerline location, which is in compression. Analysis of 7 months of gas production data indicates that the experimental near-margin holes produced 77 pct more gas than did centerline holes on the same panel.
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