Wyoming State Geological Survey, Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, Wyoming Office of State Lands, and WellDog identify 3.9 billion cubic feet of gas in Pawnee coal; other coals could contain more
Several State Agencies and WellDog announced today that they have located $11.7 million worth of gas in the Pawnee coal of the Leiter field, which was abandoned and had been slated for plugging by the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. The gas was found in just 18% of the coal in the field; the consortium is seeking additional funding to test similarly portions of the other 82% of the coal in the field.
The pilot project involved reviewing abandoned and distressed CBM fields in the basin for appropriate technical, legal and commercial characteristics. That work identified the Leiter field, previously leased by Galaxy Energy Corp. and operated by Continental Production of Casper, as a high priority candidate due to its status as a near term plugging and abandonment target. The field was then tested for producible gas, using WellDog’s GasSpotterTM technical service to locate and quantify gas in the field and the Wyoming State Geological Survey’s isotope enrichment services to qualify the producibility of that gas.
A report regarding the interim results is available on the web at http://www.welldog.com/images/uploads/WY_PRB_CBM_bypassed_gas_pilot_project_-_INTERIM_RESULTS_-_August_2011_-_FINAL.pdf.
The goal of the project was to demonstrate that substantial CBM gas remains untapped in the basin and that its production can occur in an economical and responsible fashion.
Approximately four trillion cubic feet of natural gas has been produced from coals in the Powder River basin to date, according to Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission records, and generated billions of dollars in tax and royalty payments to the state. The U.S. Department of Energy report estimates an additional eight to 23 trillion cubic feet of gas are economically recoverable, with the exact amount depending on gas prices and water management costs.
References: http://wogcc.state.wy.us/coalbedchart.cfm and