Coal is present in the Alberta Foothills/Mountains in five zones: the Kootenay, Gething, Gates, Brazeau and Coalspur coal zones. For coal-bed methane (CBM) evaluation purposes, they can be divided into shallow (200 to 2500 m depth) and deep (over 2500 m depth) coal zones. The gas content of all shallow coal areas totals about 53 Tcf of in-place CBM, which is considered the best CBM resource estimate for the region at the present time. The gas content of all deep coal areas totals about 90 Tcf of in-place CBM. The deep coal zones could be considered an ultimate resource. Consequently, the total ultimate CBM resource could be about 143 Tcf. The shallow Gates coal in the central and northern Foothills is very prospective for CBM production and needs to be better tested. The best potential for coalbed methane in the Coalspur Coal Zone is in the Edson area (Entrance Syncline and Triangle Zone).
The size of coal areas, continuity of coal zones and cumulative coal thickness may have been overestimated in this report, as a result of inadequate compilation mapping. For this reason, it is recommended that existing 1:250 000 scale geological maps be updated and additional cross-sections displaying coal zones be constructed.
Langenberg, C.W., Beaton, A.P. and Berhane, H. (2001): Regional evaluation of the coal-bed methane potential of the foothills/mountains of Alberta; Alberta Energy and Utilities Board, EUB/AGS Earth Sciences Report 2001-19, 55 p.