The Fundamentals of Coalbed Methane Development

Drilling Health, safety, security, environment and social responsibility Management and information Projects, facilities and construction Production and Operations Reservoir Description and Dynamics

Course Description

The course provides an introduction to Coalbed Methane from a basic understanding through to exploration, appraisal and development of the resource.

  • History: Where did CBM come from and where is it established.
  • Exploration: where to start, what data is required and how to get it.
  • Appraisal: What is involved in the appraisal process of a CBM resource.
  • Well design: There are many different varieties of CBM well design, and they result in different physical and environmental "footprints".
  • The course also provides an over view of CBM development considerations: planning, community engagement, development optimisation, and environmental considerations.

Learning Level

Introductory to Intermediate

Course Length

1 Day

Why Attend

Attendees should attend this course to find out what Coalbed Methane is all about. Including how to explore and test a potential CBM resource and how to appraise the coal. How to understand the sociological and environment impacts of a CBM development and lastly what the development options are.

Who Attends

Attendees with a technical expertise in any of the following disciplines:

  • Geology or Geophysics 
  • Drilling & Completions
  • Reservoir Description and Dynamics
  • Production and Operations
  • Health, Safety, Security, Environment and Social Responsibility
  • Management and Information
  • Projects, Facilities and Construction

All technical disciplines are involved at a basic level - CBM requires a holistic approach!
Other professional, business development, commercial or government personnel looking for a better understanding of what's involved in a coalbed methane development would also benefit from attending.


0.4 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) are awarded for this 1-day course.

Cancellation Policy

All cancellations must be received no later than 14 days prior to the course start date. Cancellations made after the 14 day window will not be refunded.  Refunds will not be given due to no show situations.

Training sessions attached to SPE conferences and workshops follow the cancellation policies stated on the event information page.  Please check that page for specific cancellation information.

SPE reserves the right to cancel or re-schedule courses at will.  Notification of changes will be made as quickly as possible; please keep this in mind when arranging travel, as SPE is not responsible for any fees charged for cancelling or changing travel arrangements.

We reserve the right to substitute course instructors as necessary.

Full regional cancellation policies can be found at the Cancellation Policy page within the SPE Training Course Catalog.


Don SharplesDon Sharples is a Petroleum industry professional of longstanding, laterally specialising in International Coalbed Methane development. Don got into this area in late 2008 when he became the Technical Manager at Composite Energy working on "Unconventional Gas". He led the company’s technical endeavours to develop Unconventional gas in the UK & Europe. Composite Energy was subsequently bought out by Dart Energy. Through his extensive experience in CBM (trying to overcome the challenges of European coals) Don went on to develop 'multi-disciplinary' experience in the area and subsequently his own CBM course: The Fundamentals of CBM Development. This course is the main technical offering in CBM out with the U.S.A.

Don started off in the oil industry in 1976 after graduating with a degree in Applied Geology from University of Strathclyde in Glasgow Scotland. He then worked for Anadrill Schlumberger in the North Sea, the USA and Mexico. In 1979 when he enrolled at Heriot Watt University to do a Masters degree in Petroleum Engineering. After graduating Don joined Marathon Oil Co. international division before transferring to the Brae project in Aberdeen. Don moved to LASMO PLC in 1985 where he worked for 15 years in different positions in London, Australia and Pakistan. He then returned to Aberdeen as the District Manager.

Since 2000 Don has divided his time between specialist CBM work, consultancy and training. Don is based in Aberdeen, Scotland.