From Natural Gas Europe

Polish state-run company Polskie Gornictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo (PGNiG) and the Polish Geological Institute − National Research Institute (PIG-PIB) have set up a consortium to research gas production from coal deposits. If all goes well, there will be a new revenue stream and better safety for the mining sector and lower emissions of CO2.

Their test project at two boreholes in Gilowice, Upper Silesia, will use hydraulic fracturing to see if it raises output. They will also test modern techniques and methods of methane stimulation. For PGNiG, it will be the first attempt to produce methane from coalbeds, although it has tried and failed to make shale gas production commercial. Work is due to start in the autumn.

PGNiG CEO Piotr Wozniak (below) said the amount of gas captured at mines has been falling. “This means that we are losing a valuable source of energy,” he said at a meeting with scientists and mining companies at PIG-PIB’s Upper Silesia Branch in Sosnowiec.

The head of PIG-PIB’s Upper Silesia Branch Janusz Jureczka said as well as improving safety, ”the project may also lay the foundations for commercial methane extraction in decommissioned collieries.”

As the operator, PGNiG will draw on its experience in simulation through hydraulic fracturing, which it has performed as part of shale gas exploration projects.

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