Coal bed methane

Sometimes called coal seam gas (mainly in Australia), is shale gas’s less well known but equally destructive sibling in “the family” of extreme energy methods. Where once, if a coal seam was too deep, too thin or too fractured to mine that was the end of it, now with rising energy prices and constrained supplies more extreme methods are contemplated. If the seam is close enough to the surface, this is likely to mean open cast mining. But, for deeper coal seams the worst that can be done at the moment is to try to exploit any gas associated with the seam. I say at the moment because slightly further along the extreme energy road we are heading down is the threat of underground coal gasification (UCG), probably the most dangerous and destructive fossil fuel exploitation method that has so far been considered (with the possible exception of the even more speculative methane clathrate mining). That, however, is a topic for another post. In the mean time CBM is a serious threat that already been widely developed in the United States and Australia and is ready to roll out across the British Isles.

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