GEOLOGIC SCREENING CRITERIA FOR SEQUESTRATION OF CO2 IN COAL: QUANTIFYING POTENTIAL OF THE BLACK WARRIOR COALBED METHANE FAIRWAY, ALABAMA

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Sequestration of CO{sub 2} in coal has potential benefits for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the highly industrialized Carboniferous coal basins of North America and Europe and for enhancing coalbed methane recovery. Hence, enhanced coalbed methane recovery operations provide a basis for a market-based environmental solution in which the cost of sequestration is offset by the production and sale of natural gas. The Black Warrior foreland basin of west-central Alabama contains the only mature coalbed methane production fairway in eastern North America, and data from this basin provide an excellent basis for quantifying the carbon sequestration potential of coal and ... continued below

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276 pages

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Pashin, Jack C.; Carroll, Richard E.; Jr., Richard H. Groshong; Raymond, Dorothy E.; McIntyre, Marcella & Payton, J. Wayne January 1, 2004.

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Sequestration of CO{sub 2} in coal has potential benefits for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the highly industrialized Carboniferous coal basins of North America and Europe and for enhancing coalbed methane recovery. Hence, enhanced coalbed methane recovery operations provide a basis for a market-based environmental solution in which the cost of sequestration is offset by the production and sale of natural gas. The Black Warrior foreland basin of west-central Alabama contains the only mature coalbed methane production fairway in eastern North America, and data from this basin provide an excellent basis for quantifying the carbon sequestration potential of coal and for identifying the geologic screening criteria required to select sites for the demonstration and commercialization of carbon sequestration technology. Coalbed methane reservoirs in the upper Pottsville Formation of the Black Warrior basin are extremely heterogeneous, and this heterogeneity must be considered to screen areas for the application of CO{sub 2} sequestration and enhanced coalbed methane recovery technology. Major screening factors include stratigraphy, geologic structure, geothermics, hydrogeology, coal quality, sorption capacity, technology, and infrastructure. Applying the screening model to the Black Warrior basin indicates that geologic structure, water chemistry, and the distribution of coal mines and reserves are the principal determinants of where CO{sub 2} can be sequestered. By comparison, coal thickness, temperature-pressure conditions, and coal quality are the key determinants of sequestration capacity and unswept coalbed methane resources. Results of this investigation indicate that the potential for CO{sub 2} sequestration and enhanced coalbed methane recovery in the Black Warrior basin is substantial and can result in significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions while increasing natural gas reserves. Coal-fired power plants serving the Black Warrior basin in Alabama emit approximately 31 MMst (2.4 Tcf) of CO{sub 2} annually. The total sequestration capacity of the Black Warrior coalbed methane fairway at 350 psi is about 189 MMst (14.9 Tcf), which is equivalent to 6.1 years of greenhouse gas emissions from the coal-fired power plants. Applying the geologic screening model indicates that significant parts of the coalbed methane fairway are not accessible because of fault zones, coal mines, coal reserves, and formation water with TDS content less than 3,000 mg/L. Excluding these areas leaves a sequestration potential of 60 MMst (4.7 Tcf), which is equivalent to 1.9 years of emissions. Therefore, if about10 percent of the flue gas stream from nearby power plants is dedicated to enhanced coalbed methane recovery, a meaningful reduction of CO{sub 2} emissions can be realized for nearly two decades. If the fresh-water restriction were removed for the purposes of CO{sub 2} sequestration, an additional 10 MMst (0.9 Tcf) of CO{sub 2} could feasibly be sequestered. The amount of unswept coalbed methane in the fairway is estimated to be 1.49 Tcf at a pressure of 50 psi. Applying the screening model results in an accessible unswept gas resource of 0.44 Tcf. Removal of the fresh-water restriction would elevate this number to 0.57 Tcf. If a recovery factor of 80 percent can be realized, then enhanced recovery activities can result in an 18 percent expansion of coalbed methane reserves in the Black Warrior basin.

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276 pages

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OSTI as DE00834056

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  • Other Information: PBD: 1 Jan 2004

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  • Report No.: NONE
  • Grant Number: FC26-00NT40927
  • DOI: 10.2172/834056 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 834056
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc787673

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  • January 1, 2004

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  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • Jan. 3, 2017, 12:38 p.m.

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Pashin, Jack C.; Carroll, Richard E.; Jr., Richard H. Groshong; Raymond, Dorothy E.; McIntyre, Marcella & Payton, J. Wayne. GEOLOGIC SCREENING CRITERIA FOR SEQUESTRATION OF CO2 IN COAL: QUANTIFYING POTENTIAL OF THE BLACK WARRIOR COALBED METHANE FAIRWAY, ALABAMA, report, January 1, 2004; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc787673/: accessed October 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.