In-Situ Coal Gasification: The Forestburg (Alberta) Field Test

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 70, No. 788, 1977

N. Berkowitz and R. A. S. Brown, Alberta Research Council, Edmonton, Alberta

The principles and utility of in-situ coal gasification are discussed, and a first field test conducted by the Alberta Research Council in 1976 near Forestburg, Alberta, is described. The test was carried out in a 12-ft subbituminous coal seam under 60 feet of cover. Within this seam, a 30-by 60-foot block, containing approximately 650 tons of coal, was delineated by four injection/production holes which were oriented to take advantage of the natural fracture system in the coal. Linkage between holes was established by reverse combustion and gasification was accomplished by injecting air into the ignited coal. No steam was injected, but operating pressures were adjusted to utilize formation waters for partial carbon-steam gasification. The coal gasification runs lasted six weeks and gasified an estimated 300 tons of coal; during sustained periods of gasification, a fuel gas with heating values of between 110 and 150 Btu/scf was obtained. Plans are now being developed for excavating the test site and inspecting the subsurface cavities created by gasification.
Keywords: Gasification, Coal, In-situ gasification, Forest-burg, Combustion, Reaction zones, Data processing.