Advanced methane drainage strategy-technology employing underground directional drilling technology for major risk prevention and greenhouse gases emission mitigation

GRANT AGREEMENT NO. 847338 — DD-MET — RFCS-2018
Duration: July 2019 – December 2023

AIMS OF DD-MET PROJECT

The primary objective of the proposed project is to demonstrate application of long reach underground directional boreholes drilled above mined coal seams as a novel methane drainage technology in longwall mining of coal. The project aims at demonstration of alternative methane drainage technology (not used in Europe) which will contribute to increased mine safety and productivity, reduction of methane emissions and hazards mitigation costs.

PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION PLAN

The project is conducted in Poland and in Russia. The implementation of proposed technology is supported by research (laboratory experiments, numerical modelling and extensive field testing) to assure adjustment to field conditions and technology optimisation. The aim of performing two field pilots in different geological and mining conditions of largest Polish and Russian hard coal basins provide the opportunity to compare the results of individual tasks and make this technology even more credible and universal. Project develop a cost effective and environmentally friendly technology to perform methane drainage during coal seam exploitation using in-mine directional drilling replacing very expensive methane drainage galleries developed above mining coal panels, as well as other auxiliary methane drainage methods. The project assumptions will be confirmed in the field and, as a result, best practices will be derived, which will cover technical, technological, environmental and economic aspects, which should be considered in decision making for implementation of proposed drainage technology.

WORK PACKAGES

The DD-MET project execution is scheduled over 42 months and includes six work packages plus the project coordination

The links between individual Work Packages

WP1 COORDINATION AND REPORTING

This is the work package in which all the coordination tasks of the DD-MET Pilot and Demonstration Project are included: overall technical coordination of the project, organisation and management of meetings, distribution of technical data and information among partners, preparation of minutes and integration of reports and administrative issues, including relations with EC. This work package also covers the design, implementation and maintenance of the project website.

WP2 CHARACTERISATION OF COAL SEAMS AND ROCKS - LABORATORY AND FIELD EXPERIMENTS

The general objective of this work package is to carry out a wide set of analyses allowing to characterise rocks from this region in terms of methane content, petrophysical and geomechanical parameters, stress distribution and assessment of initial conditions.

The project will be carried out in a new exploitation field in the "virgin" area of the Murcki-Staszic and Kemerovo mines, for which at the present stage of diagnosis there is no appropriate data set characterising coals and surrounding rocks. Geological, geomechanical and simulation (dynamic) models require an appropriate set of data necessary for their correct construction. For this purpose within this work package will be performed:

  • field site characterisation,
  • evaluation of the potential methane outburst hazards,
  • coal and surrounding rocks sampling from gallery and vertical wells,
  • petrophysical, mineralogical and geomechanical parameters,
  • specialised petrophysics and field engineering analysis,
  • measurement of current stresses.

WP3 NUMERICAL MODELLING AND SIMULATIONS OF METHANE DRAINAGE PROCESS

The general objective of this work package is to develop a sequence of 3D numerical models: geological, petrophysical, geomechanical and fluid flow models describing a selected coal seam in Murcki-Staszic and Kemerovo mines and its surrounding rocks together with a system of underground long reach directional boreholes as a key element of the proposed methane drainage technology under the conditions of operating longwall.

The work conducted in this work package will be devoted:

  • to develop geological models reproducing distribution of coal and surrounding rocks’ geometry as well as petrophysical and geomechanical properties,
  • to develop geomechanical models for the simulation of modified stress and strain distribution,
  • to develop flow models for the simulation of reservoir fluid migration due to coal excavation process and induced methane drainage,
  • to assess the drainage performance by the proposed technology in pre-mine and regular mining stages,
  • to optimise the proposed technology with respect to its parameters,
  • to support large scale field implementation of the proposed technology in the selected coal seam.

WP4 FIELD SCALE DEMONSTRATION AND IMPLEMENTATION

The general objective of this work package is to conduct a demonstration field trial of methane drainage in the area of one of the planned longwalls in the Murcki-Staszic mine and in selected hard coal mine in Kemerovo region.

The aim will be achieved by the following actions:

  • technology development, conceptual and technical design, drilling mud formula,
  • drilling of the long directional boreholes,
  • evaluation of geomechanical stability of the long boreholes during drilling and methane production while coal extraction by a longwall,
  • long-term monitoring of methane production and assessment of degasification rate.

General scheme of the drainage boreholes location

The main goal of this Work Package of DD-MET project is to perform a system of so-called In-Mine Horizontal Boreholes using the directional drill-rig Atlas-Copco Diamec PHC 8 already owned by PGG.

WP5 RISK ASSESSMENT

The general objective this work package is to undergo a risk assessment for underground directional drilling technology in order to reduce the risk of incidents both during the drilling of boreholes and afterwards during methane drainage. The tasks conducted within this work psckage focus on the identification how to avoid technical failures during the process and evaluation how the methane drainage directional drilling technology affects the environment in order to mitigate these risks.

WP6 PRE-FEASIBILITY STUDY, LCA ANALYSIS AND ECO-EFFICIENCY ANALYSIS

The general objective of this work package is to develop the economic, environmental and eco-efficiency analyses of the advanced methane drainage strategy employing underground directional drilling technology.

Specific objectives are:

  • to develop the pre-feasibility study of the methane drainage technology employing underground directional drilling.
  • to evaluate the environmental aspects of methane drainage technology with the use of directional holes in its life cycle.
  • to assess the eco-efficiency of the methane drainage technology with the use of directional holes in its life cycle.

WP7 CONCLUSION, RECOMMENDATIONS AND DISSEMINATIONS

Finally this work package refers to the activities that will be undertaken to disseminate the results of the project to a wide audience within the European coal mining community

The main objective of this Work package is to compile the background state of the art knowledge in advanced methane drainage strategy employing underground directional drilling technology related research findings, fields practice and experience gained from the research outcomes.

As a second objective, and upon completion of all project tasks, a project “lessons learnt and recommendation document” will also be compiled and issued to assist industrial stakeholders and the scientific community towards achieving the general objectives of safe and efficient coal exploitation.

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