Gas migration patterns with different borehole sizes in underground coal seams: Numerical simulations and field observations

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Gas flow in a coal seam is a complex process due to the complicated coal structure and the sorption characteristics of coal to adsorbable gas (such as carbon dioxide and methane). It is essential to understand the gas migration patterns for different fields of engineering, such as CBM exploitation, underground coal mine gas drainage, and CO2 geo-sequestration. Many factors influence gas migration patterns. From the surface production wells, the in-seam patterns of gas content cannot be quantified, and it is difficult to predict the total gas production time. In order to understand the gas flow patterns during gas recovery and the gas content variations with respect to production time, a solid-fluid coupled gas migration model is proposed to illustrate the gas flow in a coal seam. Field data was collected and simulation parameters were obtained. Based on this model, different scenarios with different borehole sizes were simulated for both directional boreholes and normal parallel boreholes in coal seams. Specifically, the borehole sizes for the directional boreholes were 10 m, 15 m, and 20 m. The borehole sizes for the normal parallel boreholes were 2 m, 4 m, and 6 m. Under different gas drainage leading times, the total gas recovery and residual gas contents were quantified. In Longwall Panel 909 of the Wuhushan coal mine, one gas drainage borehole and five 4 m monitoring boreholes were drilled. After six months of monitoring, the residual gas content was obtained and compared with the simulation results. Of the total gas, 61.36% was drained out from the first 4 m borehole. In this field study, the effective drainage diameter of the drainage bore-hole was less than 8 m after six months of drainage. The gas drainage performance was tightly affected by the borehole size and the gas drainage time. It was determined that the field observa-tions were in line with the simulation results. The findings of this study can provide field data for similar conditions.

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China Postdoctoral Science Foundation



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