Effects of matrix shrinkage and swelling on the economics of enhanced-coalbed-methane production and CO2 sequestration in coal

Fatma Burcu Gorucu, Sinisha A. Jikich, Grant S. Bromhal, W. Neal Sams, Turgay Ertekin, Duane H. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Increases in carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere and their contributions to global climate change are a major concern. CO2 sequestration in unmineable coals may be a very attractive option, for economic as well as environmental reasons, if a combination of enhanced-coalbed-methane (ECBM) production and tax incentives becomes sufficiently favorable compared to the costs of capture, transport, and injection of CO2. Darcy flow through cleats is an important transport mechanism in coal. Cleat compression and permeability changes caused by gas sorption/ desorption, changes of effective stress, and matrix swelling and shrinkage introduce a high level of complexity into the feasibility of a coal sequestration project. The economic effects of CO2-induced swelling on permeabilities and injectivities has received little (if any) detailed attention. CO2 and methane (CH4) have different swelling effects on coal. In this work, the Palmer-Mansoori model for coal shrinkage and permeability increases during primary methane production was rewritten to also account for coal swelling caused by CO2, sorption. The generalized model was added to a compositional, dual-porosity coalbed-methane reservoir simulator for primary (CBM) and ECBM production. A standard five-spot of vertical wells and representative coal properties for Appalachian coals was used (Rogers 1994). Simulations and sensitivity analyses were performed with the modified simulator for nine different parameters, including coal seam and operational parameters and economic criteria. The coal properties and operating parameters that were varied included Young's modulus, Poisson's ratio, cleat porosity, and injection pressure. The economic variables included CH4 price, CO2 cost, CO2, credit, water disposal cost, and interest rate. Net-present-value (NPV) analyses of the simulation results included profits resulting from CH4, production and potential incentives for sequestered CO2. This work shows that for some coal seams, the combination of compressibility, cleat porosity, and shrinkage/swelling of the coal may have a significant impact on project economics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-392
Number of pages11
JournalSPE Reservoir Evaluation and Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Geology


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of matrix shrinkage and swelling on the economics of enhanced-coalbed-methane production and CO2 sequestration in coal'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this