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Coal bed methane (CBM) services from SGS – integrated gas analysis and technical consulting services provide a clear picture of the composition and economic potential of coal beds.


The methane gas in a coal seam is a potential source of additional revenue for a mining operation if it can be recovered economically. Through our partnership with Raven Ridge Resources, we have the technical and laboratory capabilities to fully measure and define methane production potential contained in coal beds and surrounding strata. These include the ability to:

  • Delineate, map and quantify the gas resources and reserves associated with coal
  • Forecast coal bed methane (CBM) and coal mine methane (CMM) production potential
  • Design CMM projects and assist in establishing greenhouse gas accounting measures to qualify for emission credits
  • Recommend best practices for CMM drainage in underground coal mines to promote safe and healthy working conditions

We have proven experience in defining the quantity of CBM in coal seams with services that include:

  • Field collection of core
  • Analysis of the coal
  • Measurement of desorbed gas volume, residual gas volume and estimation of the lost gas volume from core samples
  • Determination of total gas in situ content, or total gas volume desorbed per unit weight of coal
  • Collection of CBM gas samples and gas quality monitoring at producing wells
  • Water and noise sampling as required by CBM permits at producing wells

We use the direct method for estimating the gas in situ content and quantifying the gas content of a coal seam. In the field, we monitor and record the elapsed time between when the core is cut by the drill and when it is sealed into the collection container. The samples are constantly maintained at the site ground temperature during transportation and sample preparation. We then proceed with gas analysis of the core samples.

The quantity of gas is then measured, and finally, the coal sample is crushed and the residue gas is recovered and measured. The gas composition is then determined by gas chromatography.

SGS’s analysis of reformed gas and gas in situ determination in a coal bed provides a clear picture of the composition and full potential of a coal seam. Contact us to learn more about these services.