Coalbed methane (CBM) is natural gas produced from coal layers. Much of the technology uses standard drilling and production techniques. The big difference is normally water. Water must usually be pumped out of the formation in order to allow the methane that is adsorbed onto the coal particles to escape and travel to the surface.
Most “normal” natural gas wells quickly reach a peak in production and then begin declining in the volume that is produced. Coalbed methane wells behave differently. They increase in production for a long time as more and more water is removed from the strata. Decline in production does not usually begin until late in the life of the well.
Colorado is responsible for more than one-fourth of all coalbed methane produced in the United States and we have the largest reserves of CBM. Coalbed methane output accounts for about one-half of Colorado’s natural gas production.