Advanced CBM Reservoir Engineering


This two-day course reflects on the knowledge gained from 15+ years of leading-edge applied research done for the Australian and international CBM industry. Summaries will also be provided on CBM production management and regulatory and environmental issues dealing mainly with produced water and fracturing wells. A capping session will address CBM economics and the effect of large-scale developments. By the end of the course, the participants will be able to:

  • Understand basic coal rock properties and the variations in coals affecting gas storage and gas producibility
  • Understand the physical environment surrounding coal reservoirs and how this affects both current and future reservoir behaviours
  • Understand the limitations and opportunities of coal reservoir depletion mechanism to yield maximum gas flow rates and maximum ultimate recovery factors
  • Understand the management challenges of developing and producing CBM reservoirs, including production and treatment/disposal of large volumes of water
  • Understand the social license requirements, risks of the business, and how these translate into regulatory requirements


Day 1:

  • Coal types from around the world; rank, petrology & chemical analysis
  • CBM depletion & reservoir properties
  • Gas-in-Place & reserve estimates
  • Enhanced CBM (CO2 & N2)
  • 3D and 4D geomechanical properties
  • 3D net stresses (lithostatic, tectonic) & permeability effects
  • Anisotropy: stresses, strains & permeability
  • Dynamic behaviour of CBM reservoirs: net stress vs. constant volume reservoirs
  • Dynamic 4D permeability: shrinkage & swelling
  • Absolute, effective and relative permeability of fluids in coal

Day 2:

  • Permeability determination & limitations via field testing: DST’s, extended flow
  • Tests, low-rate injection tests
  • Sorption: adsorption, desorption & type curves and classification
  • Methane sorption vs. coal rank and vs. T&P
  • Inherent moisture & sorption interference
  • Total sorption vs. excess (Gibbs) sorption
  • Saturated & under-saturated reservoirs; gas content of desorbing coal cores
  • CBM reservoirs simulation models (commercial & non-commercial) & permeability models
  • CBM reservoirs management: water production, quality, treatment & re-injection
  • Completion types and stimulation techniques for successful CBM projects
  • Regulatory and economic issues of CBM large-scale developments

Who Should Attend

This course is aimed at the mid-level professional engineers and geologists, on both the development/operations and regulatory side, who have begun working with CBM/CSG and wish to learn some of the advanced reservoir engineering concepts and science. This course covers areas that can be useful to operations personnel as well.


Paul MassarottoPaul Massarotto holds a PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Queensland where he was a Principal Research Fellow in Coalbed Methane (CBM) until December 2011. There, he developed and led research programmes to maximise CBM/coal seam gas (CSG) production and reserves, including enhanced CBM with CO2 or flue gas geosequestration. Massarotto was a principal CSG engineer with Oil Company of Australia (now known as Origion Energy). Paul has lectured internationally on CBM technology in Canada, Europe, USA and China; clients included Encana, Shell E&P and PetroChina. He also acted as an expert witness and consultant to the international energy industry and has published over 60 papers. His broad, 40+ years of experience covers senior technical, drilling and operational management roles in the international oil & gas industry with Texaco and Esso Canada, and infrastructure and power industries in New Zealand. He is a graduate of McGill University, Montreal, where he obtained his chemical engineering degree. He is a Life Member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers since 1974 and has served on the executive committee of the Queensland Section of SPE.