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Cooperative Coalbed Methane Project
U.S. Geological Survey Central Region Energy Team
BLM Wyoming Reservoir Management Group

In early 1999 BLM and USGS initiated a cooperative project to collect technical data for analysis and evaluation of coalbed methane (CBM) resources in the Powder River Basin, primarily from coal cores provided by cooperating CBM operators. BLM and USGS need additional information and analyses of the CBM resources to accomplish their agencies' respective resource evaluation and management missions. The agencies share complementary but slightly divergent goals and information needs. The project also addresses public needs for data regarding the Powder River Basin CBM resources.

BLM's needs are related to management of CBM resources and primarily include obtaining improved gas content/gas-in-place estimates for reservoir characterization and resource/reserve assessment and evaluation. USGS has more far-reaching goals including a basin-wide assessment of CBM resources, developing methodologies for testing gas content of low rank coals, determining the nature and origin of coalbed gases and formation waters using coal petrology, isotopic, and chemical composition, and developing predictive models for assessment of coalbed methane resources in other US basins and throughout the world.

Technical data has been collected and analyzed from twenty drill holes to date throughout the Basin and adjacent to several active mining areas. Analyses include methane desorption and adsorption analysis, coal quality, isotopic, and chemical analyses, coal seam water analyses, and coal petrography. The data are collected under confidentiality agreements with the participating CBM operators but will be released to the public as the terms of these agreements are completed and operator consent is obtained. The following project data have recently been posted to this site and updates will be provided as the data are released.