In July 1979, a project was established to determine the feasibility of using vertical boreholes to degasify the Pocahontas No. 3 coalbed in advance of mining. To date, three methane gas drainage boreholes have been completed near the Virginia Pocahontas No. 5 mine in Buchanan County, Va. Various coalbed reservoir tests and in-situ stress determinations have been performed. Hydraulic stimulation treatments were designed and implemented at two boreholes, followed by preliminary gas and water production testing.

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