Amoco is producing coalbed methane from several hundred wells in both San Juan and Warrior basins. These wells were completed/stimulated in one of two ways: (1) openhole cavity completions, (2) hydraulic fracture stimulations through perforations in casing. Cavity operations are described, and new data from several cavity completions is presented and analyzed. The latest geomechanics modeling of the formation of cavities in coalbeds is presented. The model allows the growth of a cavity as tensile failure occurs, and computes increases in permeability in a stress-relief zone that extends tens of feet from the well. Critical parameters are given for the success of cavity completions. A pulse interference analysis is discussed: as well as interwell permeability, this can provide information on stress-dependent permeability. Finally, some wells which were originally cavitated did not perform up to expectation, and have been recavitated with remarkable success – these are also examined.
Amoco has tried several different kinds of hydraulic fracturing treatments. Results of comparisons between foam fracture, slick water fracture, and gel fracture treatments are presented. Statistical comparisons are given for regions outside of the fairway zone in the San Juan Basin. In the Warrior Basin, water fracture treatments with and without sand have been compared. Lastly, foamed water cleanouts, without sand, have been deployed, and their success is reviewed.