DOE's Unconventional Gas Research Programs 1976-1995
SOURCE: U.S. Department of the Interior, Minerals Management Service, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region

3.3.5. Subsequent Research Related to Methane Recovery from Coalbeds

With the winding down of DOE-funded CBM research, GRIís research program in coalbed methane grew dramatically.

Some of GRIís early work continued work that had been initiated by DOE, using some of the same contractors and industry partners.

GRIís efforts focused on:

  • Technology Development (formation evaluation, fracturing effectiveness and reservoir modeling).
  • Field Tests (deep coal fracturing tests and multizone production tests).
  • Management (program evaluation and technology transfer to industry).
GRI began in 1981 with a modest CBM R&D effort in funding four projects: a drilling fluids study undertaken by the Institute of Gas Technology (IGT), a coalbed dewatering study by TRW, a reservoir modeling effort underway with U.S. Steel, and in-house fracture stimulation testing. In 1982, with the scale-back of the DOE program, GRI initiated seven additional major projects, including field tests with U.S. Steel (in Alabamaís Warrior Basin) and Resource Enterprises (in the Southern Piceance Basin). GRI also began publishing a quarterly report on their R&D efforts and the growing amount of industry activity related to coalbed methane. GRI also helped to sponsor a regular symposium on the topic.

GRI CBM R&D continued during the shift from a resource-based program to a technology-based program in the mid-1990s. Significant new efforts related to CBM R&D ended in the late 1990s. A complete listing of GRI reports on CBM topics is provided within the spreadsheet bibliography accompanying this report.

By the end of the decade, CBM production was more than six times the volume produced in 1990, and industry was effectively utilizing much of the information and technology that had been initiated and developed by DOE and GRI.

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Cover Page

Executive Summary

1. Background

2. GRI Research into Unconventional Gas Resources

3. Structure of the Enhanced Gas Recovery Program (EGR)

  • 3.1. Eastern Gas Shales Program (1976-1992)

  • 3.1.1. Key Questions and Related R&D Goals
  • 3.1.2. Program Design and Overview of Major Projects
  • 3.1.3. Key Eastern Gas Shales Projects
  • 3.1.4. Highlights of Important Results
  • 3.1.5. Subsequent Developments in DOE and Other Research Related to Eastern Gas Shales

  • 3.2. Western Gas Sands Program (1978-1992)

  • 3.2.1. Key Questions and Related R&D Goals
  • 3.2.2. Program Design and Overview of Major Projects
  • 3.2.3. Key Western Gas Sands Projects
  • 3.2.4. Highlights of Important Results
  • 3.2.5. Subsequent Developments in DOE Research Related to Tight Gas Sands

  • 3.3. Methane Recovery from Coalbeds Program (1978-1982)

  • 3.3.1. Key Questions Related to Coal Seam Methane
  • 3.3.2. MRCP Program Design and Overview
  • 3.3.3. Key Methane Recovery from Coalbeds Projects
  • 3.3.4. Highlights of Important Results
  • 3.3.5. Subsequent Research Related to Methane Recovery from Coalbeds

  • 3.4. Deep Source Gas Project (1982-1992)

  • 3.4.1. Key Deep Source Gas Projects
  • 3.4.2. Highlights of Important Results

  • 3.5. Methane Hydrates Program (1982-1992)

  • 3.5.1. Methane Hydrates Workshop (March 1982)
  • 3.5.2. Key Questions and Related R&D Goals
  • 3.5.3. Program Design
  • 3.5.4. Major Contracted Gas Hydrates Projects
  • 3.5.5. Methane Hydrate Research Efforts of METC's In-House Organization
  • 3.5.6. Highlights of Important Results
  • 3.5.7. Subsequent Developments in Methane Hydrate Research

  • 3.6. Secondary Gas Recovery (1987-1995)

  • 3.6.1. Key Objectives and Program Design
  • 3.6.2. Major Projects
  • 3.6.3. Major Results

    4. Elements of Spreadsheet Bibliographies (by Program)

    Appendix A: Details of Major 1970-1980 Unconventional Gas Resource Assessments

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