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Evaluation of the relative importance of coalbed reservoir parameters for prediction of methane in?ow rates during mining of longwall development entries

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      This study presents a reservoir modeling approach to investigate the relative effects of different coalbed parameters on the migration of methane into development entries. A base coalbed reservoir model of a three-entry development section, where grids were dynamically controlled to simulate the advance of mining at a constant section advance rate, was created and calibrated for a Pittsburgh Coalbed mine in the Southwestern Pennsylvania section of the Northern Appalachian Basin. The values of coalbed parameters were varied to evaluate their effects on predicted methane emissions for various development distances. The results of these parametric simulations were then used to derive linear expressions relating these parameters to methane emissions into the workings. These models were analyzed to assess their significance and adequacy for predictive purposes. This work shows that coupling reservoir simulations with linear modeling yield a technique that can be applicable to different coalbeds. The reservoir parameters used by the linear models (coalbed thickness, pressure, sorption time constant, Langmuir parameters, permeability) can be determined by running relatively simple laboratory tests, such as adsorption equilibrium and permeability determination, on coal samples obtained either from the mining operation or from the exploratory boreholes drilled ahead of mining.
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