North China Oilfield Branch of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and Shanxi Energy Industry Group have reached a cooperation on coal-bed methane development project.
CNPC will spend about a year to build the first coal-bed methane field in China. This is the company after the oil, natural gas and other traditional energy, CNPC began to involve in the coal-bed methane this new field.
China’s first coal-bed methane field will grow in Shanxi. Shanxi has natural coal advantages. As a large coal province, Shanxi is rich in coal-bed methane resources. The total amount of coal-bed methane accounts for about one-third of the country. However, resources not effectively used can become a loss. Shanxi’s past encounter is the best example.
Coalbed methane is a gas resource associated with coal. Coalbed methane is a hydrocarbon gas stored in coal seams. It has methane as its main component. It is an unconventional natural gas. Coalbed methane is a clean, high-quality energy and chemical raw material that has risen internationally in the last decade or two.
Coalbed methane is commonly known as “gas”. The calorific value of 1 cubic meter of pure coalbed methane is equivalent to 1.13 kg of gasoline and 1.21 kg of standard coal. Its calorific value is comparable to that of natural gas. It can be mixed with natural gas for transmission and use. And it is very clean after combustion. The combustion of coal-bed methane produces almost no exhaust gas. It is a good fuel for industry, chemical industry, power generation and residential life.
The greenhouse effect of coal-bed methane is about 21 times that of carbon dioxide when it is emitted directly into the atmosphere, which is extremely destructive to the ecological environment.
The extraction methods of coalbed methane include surface drilling and underground gas extraction. The former is the common way of coalbed methane mining.
Coalbed methane requires advanced technology in all aspects of exploration, production, gathering and transmission, and utilization. In particular, exploration and production processes require constant technological updates.
Coalbed methane resources in Shanxi Province are characterized by low pressure, low permeability, low saturation and special geological changes. The exploration and production technologies and techniques for these characteristics have not made any breakthrough. It has become a bottleneck and key factor to restrict the development of coal-bed methane industry in Shanxi Province.
The project for which the cooperation was reached is located in the Qinshui coalfield. The coalbed methane reserves in this coalfield are estimated to be 10 trillion cubic meters. equivalent to the reserves of the entire Xinjiang. The project is expected to produce 240 million cubic meters of coalbed methane and 200,000 tons of liquefied coalbed methane annually after it goes into operation.
More than 600 researchers from Langfang Branch of CNPC E&P Research Institute have been involved in coalbed methane technology research since more than 20 years ago, and the technology is now fully mature.
With the improvement of China’s gas transmission network, the development of CBM will have more powerful conditions.
The coalbed methane project in Qinshui coalfield is located along the West-East gas pipeline. According to the unified planning of coal-bed methane development to be carried out by the state. The produced coal-bed methane can be fed into the West-East Gas Pipeline nearby after technical treatment.
This follows a series of agreements between CNPC and the State Forestry Administration of China to jointly develop biomass energy. The project aims to meet the feedstock demand for 6 million tons of biodiesel production and more than 15 million kilowatts of installed capacity for power generation by 2023.
Earlier in the year, CNPC added a new energy division to its exploration and production branch. The organization’s research and development focuses on coal-bed methane, biofuels, and solar and wind energy, among other energy areas.
There are precedents for oil companies to diversify their energy sources globally. BP and Shell are already involved in clean energy and solar power. And CNPC – China’s largest oil company – is doing the same with its diversification strategy, changing the single-energy supply landscape of oil and gas.