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VIDEO: a promising future for coalbed methane

World Coal,

In a video from Encana Corp., a North American natural gas company, experts explain why coalbed methane (CBM) has become known as a versatile source of energy, and note that the unconventional gas has a bright future.

Potential to replace other carbon-based fuels

Stacy Knull, VP, Clearwater business unit, Encana Canadian Division, said that CBM was “one of the most environmentally benign fossil fuels.”

“It’s just pure methane,” Knull explained, “it’s not like the natural gas that comes out of most of the conventional [fossil fuels].”

Clean and safe

The video recognises CBM as a clean and safe fuel – an image that has been tarnished by the activities of environmental activists, who often confuse CBM operations with the hydraulic fracturing activities of shale gas drilling operations. Encana noted that its CBM operations in Canada produce at low pressure, with zero water produced. The company also said that it produced “sweet” CBM, meaning that it does not contain hydrogen sulphide.

In a statement, Encana said that it had “been safely and responsibly developing CBM in Alberta for more than six years and has focused our CBM production on the Horseshoe Canyon coals. Protecting groundwater is of paramount importance to Encana and we're committed to working with stakeholders to help them understand how we protect this precious natural resource.”

“Really, everybody who uses coalbed methane is going to benefit: it’s the cleanest fossil fuel that exists,” Knull said.

Specialised impermeable cement encases the drill hole, which protects water aquifers from hydrocarbon bearing zones: simply put, the drilling methods for CBM extraction protects groundwater.

Michael Graham, who was executive vice president and president of Encana’s Canadian division until his resignation in 2012, was keen to stress that the company understood the concerns of local residents to CBM operations, particularly concerns over groundwater. “We definitely understand the concerns over Groundwater,” Graham said. “It’s probably the most important resource that we have.”

Fuel of the future

Encana said that it saw CBM as “the fuel of the future”, and developing the vast reserves in North America and indeed the rest of the world, should be carried out – safely and responsibly.

“Coal bed methane will help create a bright future for everyone,” Encana said.

You can watch the full video below:


Encana is a key player in the North American energy industry, and has placed significant emphasis on growing its portfolio, with investment in various gas projects, including CBM.

Written by Sam Dodson

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