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News Release, Kansas Geological Survey, June 10, 2010

KGS Geologists Recognized for Presentation on CO2 Sequestration and Enhanced Gas Production in Coal Beds

Two Kansas Geological Survey scientists have been recognized for their presentation on the potential for carbon dioxide sequestration and enhanced gas production in the thin and shallow unmineable coal beds of eastern Kansas.

Saibal Bhattacharya and David Newell received the President's Certificate for Excellence in Presentation from the Energy Minerals Division of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG). Their poster was presented at the 2009 AAPG meeting in Denver, and the award was given at the 2010 AAPG meeting in New Orleans in April.

Gas has been produced from eastern Kansas coal beds since the 1980s. Coal bed gas (CBM) production now approaches 50 billion cubic feet per year. More than 7600 CBM wells have been completed in Kansas, with a rapid increase in drilling since 2001. Much of the activity is centered in a five-county area of southeastern Kansas but some operations are farther north near Kansas City.

Researchers are studying the possibility of sequestering CO2 in a process that would also release gas trapped in the coal beds not recoverable by traditional methods. As the injected CO2 was adsorbed and sequestered, it would displace the resident methane through the process known as Enhanced Coal Bed Methane (ECBM) production.

The poster includes information about a study at the Johnson County Landfill where the KGS cored two wells to investigate the presence and thickness of coals in the underlying Pennsylvanian rocks and to ascertain their gas content. The landfill covers about one square mile in Shawnee and serves much of metropolitan Kansas City.

Landfills, where gas forms from waste degradation, and cement plants represent point-sources for CO2 and other gases that can either be injected into coal seams raw or after minimal upgrading.

Natural gas pipelines crossing eastern Kansas have excess capacity that can be used to carry produced methane from CBM and ECBM operations. The pipelines were originally built to carry gas to eastern urban areas from the now-depleting Hugoton Field in western Kansas.

Links of interest to this article:

CO2 Sequestration in Thin and Shallow Coal Beds: Eastern Kansas

Story by Cathy Evans, (785) 864-2195.
For more information, contact Saibal Bhattacharya, 785-864-2058

Kansas Geological Survey, Public Outreach