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CBM Fracturing

Coalbed Methane (CBM) formations are found throughout many parts of the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin and the world. Some coal zones are dry and produce little to no water, while others produce large volumes of water from the coal prior to producing gas. Trican has experience in fracturing both types of coal reservoirs. Trican’s CBM fracturing services consist of high-rate nitrogen pumpers and bulk N2 equipment designed to stimulate dry CBM wells. CBM fracturing involves pumping gaseous nitrogen into a coal zone at very high rates (500 to 4500 scm/min [17,650 to 160,000 scf/min]). This causes the nitrogen to fracture the coal, thereby allowing the methane to flow into the well. Nitrogen is inert and does not damage the formation.

Dry CBM wells normally contain a number of small coal layers. In order to optimize gas production, each of these layers must be fractured independently of one another. For this reason, Trican utilizes coiled tubing with an isolation tool on the bottom to isolate and fracture each small coal seam. In many wells, up to 25 fracs are completed using this coiled tubing fracturing technology.

In Wet CBM wells, water needs to be produced (removed) in order to lower the reservoir pressure and release the methane gas. Specialty fluids are utilized to effectively carry the proppant into the fracture without damaging the coal formation and enable the release of water. When the reservoir is adequately un-pressurized, the gas flow is initiated through the created fracture.

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