Understanding poromechanical response of a biogenic coalbed methane reservoir


TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Biogenic coalbed methane (BCBM) reservoirs aim to produce methane from in situ coal deposits following microbial conversion of coal. Success of BCBM reservoirs requires economic methane production within an acceptable timeframe. The work reported here quantifies the findings of previously published qualitative work, where it was found that bioconversion induces strains in the pore, matrix and bulk scales. Using imaging and dynamic strain monitoring techniques, the bioconversion induced strain is quantified here. To understand the effect of these strains from a reservoir geomechanics perspective, a corresponding poromechanical model is developed. Furthermore, findings of imaging experiments are validated using core-flooding flow experiments. Finally, expected field-scale behavior of the permeability response of a BCBM operation is modeled and analyzed. The results of the study indicated that, for Illinois coals, bioconversion induced strains result in a decrease in fracture porosity, resulting in a detrimental permeability drop in excess of 60% during bioconversion, which festers itself exponentially throughout its producing life. Results indicate that reservoirs with high initial permeability that will support higher Darcian flowrates, would be better suited for coal bioconversion, thereby providing a site-selection criteria for BCBM operations.




International Journal of Coal Science & Technology. 2024 Apr 17;11(1):31