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A review of the AMM & CMM resources in the Kuznetsk (Kuzbass) Coal Basin, Russia

By N.S. Jones


This report describes some of the results of a visit to Russia between 7-17th June 2005 to study the Coal Mine Methane and Abandoned Mine Methane resources of the Kuznetsk (Kuzbass) Coal basin, Siberia, Russia. Coal Mine Methane (CMM) refers to gas drained from working coal mines and Abandoned Mine Methane (AMM) refers to mine gas derived from closed mines. This visit formed part of the UK – Russia Cleaner Fossil Fuel Technology Transfer Project: AMM/CMM Technology Transfer Opportunities in Russia. The UK team comprised experts from Wardell Armstrong, British Geological Survey (BGS), IT Power and Climate Mitigation Works; Uglemetan provided support whilst in Russia. The role of the BGS was to evaluate the CMM and AMM resources of the Kuzbass Coal Basin and, if possible, to apply the UK scheme for resources and reserves assessment on the basis of such data as was available in Russia. However, due to significant problems in obtaining suitable data whilst in Russia, a Kuzbass-wide assessment of AMM and CMM resources was not possible. Hence this report represents a review of existing published and non-published data and meetings held during the visit to Russia in 2005, where they impact on AMM and CMM resources. This report is not a definitive assessment of the CMM and AMM resources and reserves of the Kuzbass and the conclusions reached are tentative. Hence it is recommended that more detailed studies be carried out in order gain a better understanding of the CMM and AMM resources and reserves in the Kuzbass.\ud The Kuzbass Coal Basin covers an area of approximately 26,000 km and is thought to contain 263.7 billion tonnes of coal reserves. The main coal-bearing intervals are from the Permo-Carboniferous Kolchuginsky and Balakhonsky stages and, typically, the coal to overburden (non-coal) ratio is about 3.5:1. The area is geologically complex, with large folds and thrust folds dominating. The working underground mines generally operate around the western periphery of the basin, mostly exploiting coals with ranks varying from High Volatile C Bituminous to Low Volatile Bituminous. More than 100 seams, with an average thickness of 2.5 m, have been mined at depths varying from 300-800 m. Ash and moisture contents average about 20 % and 7 % respectively and the gas content averages 12 m3/t.\ud Coalbed methane resources of the Kuzbass coal basin are thought to be over 13 trillion cubic metres but so far there has been limited exploration for and exploitation of methane. There are presently about 36 working underground mines and there are considerable CMM resources. Annual methane emissions into the atmosphere from Kuzbass coal mines amount to 1-2 billion cubic metres, equal to the annual natural gas consumption in the region. In 1994, out of a total emission of approximately one billion cubic metres of methane, ventilation systems emitted 860 million cubic metres and methane recovery systems emitted 196 million cubic metres following collection. Four examples of potential CMM schemes are described within the report, from Abashevskaya, Chertinskaya, Komsomolets and Pervomaiskay mines. There appears to be a link between high coal productivity and increased methane emissions. In 2005 there are only 13 mines that use degasification systems. Most mines use air from the ventilation system to dilute the methane to safe (non-explosive) concentrations. Hence, for the majority of working mines, capturing the ventilation air methane (VAM) would be the most sensible approach to utilising the CMM.\ud There are 43 abandoned coal mines in the Kuzbass, many of which have potential for AMM utilisation. On closure it has been estimated that a typical Kuzbass mine emits 107 m3 of methane. The mine closure agency Gorsh is responsible for monitoring mines after closure. Of the 43 closed mines 13 are fully flooded, 15 are partially flooded, and 15 are maintained dry through pumping out of water. There are a further 17 mines that have no documentation or monitoring. Following mine closure and the cessation of pumping, groundwater levels rise quickly, with mines typically flooding within 3-7 years. Hence an understanding of minewater rebound is critical to any successful AMM scheme in the Kuzbass. Data provided by Gorsh show that 86% of the mines have 65% or more of their total volume flooded. Therefore the number of possible AMM schemes is severely limited as a result of minewater recovery and there are perhaps 5-7 suitable prospects

Topics: Earth Sciences
Publisher: British Geological Survey
Year: 2005
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:11137

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