Modern Practices in UCG
Analysis and modelling
Advances in computer modelling software mean that information can be analysed online, or collected in the field and analysed quickly in a laboratory. The type of information that is now accessible has increased significantly. This enables UCG conditions to be controlled more precisely, with benefits in terms of overall process control, environmental impact management, energy efficiency improvement and cost reduction.
Understanding the geological setting is critical to planning and managing a UCG operation.
While methods to determine geological structure continue to be mostly the same, modern tools now allow for more rapid analysis to determine UCG-suitable coal seams. This also provides a base for a range of other modelling applications.
Analytical techniques combined with geological models are used to determine the:
- Characteristics of the coal seam (including volume, quality, variability, structure, strength, permeability, geochemical and thermal properties)
- Characteristics of the surrounding geological formations (including structure, strata, features like faults, variability, strength, permeability and thermal properties.
- Effects of heat transferred from the UCG cavity on the roof and floor of the cavity and the surrounding strata. The geological information and model is used as the base for all other models used to predict the UCG process and its environmental effects.
Did you know?
- UCG means coal is accessed underground, without the need for a surface mine.
- New technology, such as directional drilling, and demand for energy, are driving expansion in the Syngas industry.