A Practical Introduction to Coal Bed Methane: Experience from the Developing Fields of Australia and SE Asia

Reservoir Descriptions and Dynamics Drilling and Completions


This course is designed to assist individuals throughout the financial, coal and petroleum industries to improve their understanding of CBM principles and fundamentals.  It is particularly designed to appeal to young professionals, who may have some familiarity with subsurface approaches, but require further clarity.  Particular attention is paid to the South-East Asian CBM scene, and practical examples and case studies are an important aspect of the course. There will be relevant comparison to the historical development of the industry in North America, Australia, and other current global developments.

The program covers the entire CBM project spectrum, from exploration through to production, detailing the highly variable nature in fundamental reservoir properties between deposits, and demonstrating how this affects the bottom line commerciality of a project.  CBM is vastly different to conventional petroleum, and requires a different approach.  Hydrological and environmental matters are also of great importance to CBM, and the course will provide insight into how these factors can be managed.  The course is designed to be practical, and should prove useful to existing CBM operators as well as those new to the scene.

Providing an understanding of the commercial drivers behind CBM development is an important part of the course, including a guide to the booking of reserves and resources, and tips on what to look out for in reviewing these reports.

Course Agenda »

Course Brochure »

Learning Level


Course Length

3 Days

Why Attend?

  • To understand the historical development of CBM and the peculiarities of the Australian & SE Asian scene relative to the international experience
  • To understand the key parameters that make or break a CBM project
  • To learn the essential science behind CBM
  • To learn how to plan and execute a successful CBM exploration project
  • To understand the relationship between water and gas in CBM and the implications
  • To determine which production and completion technique will work for you, and why
  • To learn what greenhouse emissions mean to the CBM industry
  • To comprehend the differences between resources and reserves and the requirements to move resources to reserves
  • To understand the basic economic drivers behind CBM projects
  • To participate in practical discussions and exercises that enhance practical understanding

Who Should Attend

The course is generally applicable to anyone who would like to understand more about CBM, including petroleum engineers, mining engineers, geologists, potential investors in CBM projects, and financial analysts.  The course is designed to be particularly accessible to young professionals, and those who may already have a conventional background, who wish to understand more about this important unconventional resource.


Engineers are responsible for enhancing their professional competence throughout their careers. Licensed, chartered, and/or certified engineers are sometimes required by government entities to provide proof of continued professional development and training. Training credits are defined as Continuing Education Units (CEUs) or Professional Development Hours (PDHs).
Attendees of SPE training courses earn 0.8 CEUs for each day of training. We provide each attendee a certificate upon completion of the training course.


abul Jamaluddin

Scott Thomson is a geologist with more than 35 years’ experience in the coal mining and energy industries.  He holds a B. Sc., M. Sc. And M.B.A. He has held leadership roles in industry and has worked as a consultant to the Coal Bed Methane (CBM) and coal mining industry for the past 15 years. He has been a managing director of a leading directional drilling service and technology supply company, and a Research Leader in coal seam gas associated with a major Australian CRC. Scott is Managing Director of CoalBed Energy Consultants (www.coalbed.com.au), which provides project management, technical services, business development, due diligence and consulting services in Coal Seam Gas (CSG) / CBM, Coal Mine Methane (CMM), fugitive emissions and related areas. 

CoalBed counts in its client list all of the major mining companies in Australia, and many of the leading CSG / CBM operators.  Scott and his son Duncan have developed popular training courses in CBM Fundamentals, Production & Completion, and CBM Drilling which have been delivered to a range of clients in Australia and overseas.

Rohaizad Mohd Norpiah

Duncan Thomson has practical hands on project management experience in CBM and mining, and has specialised in drilling and logistics for the last 12 years.
Duncan joined CoalBed in 2008, and became a Director in 2010. He has acted as project manager on a number of CBM exploration and mining projects in the major Australian coal basins.  Recently, his project management skills have been applied to basins in Botswana, Mozambique and Kazakhstan on developing CBM basins.

Duncan has extensive experience and skills in the interpretation, planning and management of a wide variety of drilling programs, including complex lateral drilling for CBM operators and miners. CoalBed has used this data to build detailed geological models relevant to longwall planning, a world-first. Duncan is also actively involved in aiding underground coal mines with the management of geological hazards during mine planning, development and longwall operations.