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CBM Market 2014 – 2018

World Coal,

Analysts at research firm, TechNavio, indicate that the global coalbed methane (CBM) market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.5% through to 2018.

One of the key factors contributing to this market growth is the shifting focus from conventional gas sources. The global CBM market has also witnessed rapid technological advances. However, the long dewatering period needed for CBM projects could pose a challenge to the growth of the market.

Key topics covered in the report include:

  1. Market Landscape.
  2. Market Segmentation by End-users.
  3. Geographical Segmentation.
  4. Key Leading Countries.
  5. Market Growth Drivers.
  6. Drivers and their Impact.
  7. Market Challenges.
  8. Impact of Drivers and Challenges.
  9. Market Trends.
  10. Trends and their Impact.
  11. Vendor Landscape.
  12. Key Vendor Analysis.

Over the years, there has been a significant increase in technological advances in the global CBM market, which has resulted in the higher extraction of CBM from major reservoirs across the world. These technological advances include the CBM production mechanism, the development of techniques for accurate isothermic testing and determination of gas levels, the development of well log interpretation, as well as well simulation models.

Technological advances drive investment

The report notes that huge investments are being made in R&D to improve the efficient recovery of CBM through horizontal drilling, while reducing the lead time and cost. The overall volume of production, as well as the cost and risk, have significantly declined due to these rapid technological advances in the industry. Therefore, it is expected that technological advancements will be one of the key trends propelling the growth of the Global CBM market during the forecast period.

According to the report, one of the major drivers in this market is the shifting focus from conventional gas sources due to the depletion of fossil fuels. Governments across the globe are being forced to shift their focus to alternative sources of gas supply including CBM, which is propelling the growth of the global CBM market.

Although the report does indicate that the global CBM market is set to continue its growth, it does state that the market will face some significant challenges that must be overcome. The report states that one of the major challenges confronting the market is the long dewatering period for CBM. The dewatering of a CBM well takes a lot of time and increases the overall cost of development of CBM wells.

CBM Dewatering

In a coal-seam reservoir, while some free gas may exist in the coal deposits, the majority of the gas is adsorbed on the surface of the coal matrix. To produce this gas, the reservoir pressure must be reduced so that the gas can be desorbed and released from the matrix into the fractures. The gas can then migrate through the fractures and coal cleat system and flow into the wellbore.

Initially, the natural fractures of the coal are typically water saturated. This water has to be removed in order to achieve any significant gas production. Dewatering of the coal seam reduces the hydrostatic pressure of the reservoir, which allows the gas to be desorbed from the coal matrix. At the same time, lowering the water saturation level of the reservoir increases the relative permeability of gas, thereby permitting the desorbed gas to flow to the wellbore. The maximum gas production is achieved when the BHP is minimised.

A proper dewatering system is therefore essential for the production of methane from most coalbeds.

Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson

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