Information Inventory

This appendix provides a relatively complete but not exhaustive record of the types of research and studies being conducted by various federal, state, and other entities with respect to coalbed methane (CBM) produced water effects and management. Many of the resources and references listed are also incorporated into discussions in various chapters of the report. The reader is referred to the resources themselves, which often contain their own extensive reference lists not detailed in this appendix.


Bureau of Land Management

The BLM is primarily engaged with resource characterization, including publication of an extensive database on potential CBM reserves.1 As part of the CBM permitting process and often in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service, data from the U.S. Geological Survey, states, and other research sources are included in Environmental Impact Statements (EISs), Environmental Assessments, Resource Management Plans (RMPs), and Reasonable Foreseeable Development scenarios produced by BLM. These documents are generally coordinated by the relevant BLM field offices. Examples that addressed western CBM production include the following:

• Northern San Juan Basin Coalbed Methane Draft EIS Released for Public Review;2

1See (accessed March 23, 2010).

2See (accessed March 23, 2010).

• Powder River Basin Oil & Gas Project EIS;3

• Oil and Gas Leasing Environmental Assessment 070-05-064 (BLM, 2005);

• Wyodak Drainage Coal Bed Methane Environmental Assessment WY-070-01-034 (BLM, 2001); and

• Farmington Resource Management Plan.4

BLM has supported projects in conjunction with states and other researchers, either in support of RMPs (e.g., Engler et al., 2001) or as stand-alone studies (e.g., ALL Consulting, 2003; Wheaton and Metesh, 2001, 2002; Cox et al., 2001). Financial support for groundwater monitoring wells is also provided by BLM to Montana, for example, in support of that state's groundwater monitoring activities, some of which are associated with CBM production areas (see Chapter 5).

U. S. Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA is conducting a comprehensive, industry-wide review and data collection of produced water quality and quantity, treatment and management alternatives and costs, treatment technologies, water production, and discharge volumes associated with CBM production5 (see also Box 3.2 in Chapter 3). EPA reviews and studies are also addressing potential environmental impacts of CBM water discharges to biota and soils. Additionally, the EPA has investigated how hydraulic fracturing of water-saturated coalbeds containing methane may affect water quality.6 EPA (2004) and EPA (2006) each describe some of these activities in greater detail. In the past, EPA's National Center for Environmental Research has also provided support to external research projects on topics related to CBM produced water.7,8

U.S. Geological Survey

The USGS has established a significant role in data collection, compilation, analysis, interpretation, and reporting, with particular focus on perennial water resources, produced water quality, and hydrogeological processes associated with CBM and produced water. This work is being done under the auspices of the USGS Energy Resources Program, in

3See (accessed March 23, 2010).

4See (accessed March 23, 2010).

5See "Coalbed Methane Extraction Detailed Study" at (accessed March 23, 2010).

6See (accessed March 23, 2010).

7See (accessed March 23, 2010).

8See (accessed March 23, 2010).

cooperation with the BLM, state agencies, colleges and universities, and other parties, with a primary goal to develop models to help access the methane resource and evaluate environmental implications of its development in the major coalbed regions in the United States.

To date, USGS scientists have published approximately 100 reports and results of research investigations on CBM and associated issues, ranging from circulars highlighting issues for the public (e.g., Nuccio, 2000; Rice and Nuccio, 2000) to a range of Water-Resources Investigations Reports, Open-File Reports, and Professional Papers (e.g., USGS, 2005). With respect to water quality issues, reports have been published on the chemical variability of Powder River Basin formation waters (e.g., Rice and Nuccio, 2000) and how produced water quality may relate to groundwater hydraulics and age of fluids in the CBM system (Bartos and Ogle, 2002). More broadly, the USGS toxic substances hydrology program has published a bibliography of research on petroleum-related produced water contamination (not CBM specific).9

In 2004 the USGS embarked on a long-term monitoring program in the Tongue River watershed of Wyoming and Montana to determine whether CBM production affects streamwater quality and quantity (see Chapter 5). This study, the Tongue River Surface-Water-Quality Monitoring Network,10 conducted in cooperation with BLM, the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, the T&Y Irrigation District, Fidelity Exploration, Montana and Wyoming Departments of Environmental Quality, and the Wyoming State Engineer's Office, involves real-time monitoring, periodic water quality sampling and characterization, and water quantity measurement at 12 locations within the Tongue River watershed, now part of the USGS National Stream Information Program. Many of these data are real time and are accessible via the Internet, including a broad suite of chemical parameters. Also available as an outcome of monitoring by the USGS are data on groundwater levels and streams in numerous basins being developed for CBM.11

The USGS has compiled a publically available national database of the analyzed chemistry of over 58,000 samples of waters sourced from hydrocarbon production, including CBM production,12 and a bibliography of publications dealing with problems associated with the produced formation water (Otton, 2006), including effects of releases into ephemeral and perennial water bodies on the hydrology. The report includes a link to CBM production water data and other sources outside the agency.13

9See (accessed March 23, 2010).

10See (accessed March 23, 2010).

nSee (accessed March 23, 2010).

12See (accessed March 23, 2010).

13See (accessed March 23, 2010).

U. S. Department of Energy

The DOE has played a significant role in promoting, supporting, and endorsing basic and applied research related to CBM. Most of these efforts and the resulting data have been sponsored by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and/or performed in collaboration with Argonne National Laboratory or Sandia National Laboratories. The DOE maintains an extensive archive of information detailing energy resources, water resources, technical reports, and research summaries. Particular emphasis has been focused on approaches to CBM produced water, including techniques for downhole gas-water separation, bioremediation techniques associated with production water, industrial water treatment techniques, and alternatives for beneficial use of produced water. Much of this information is contained in the Produced Water Management Information System.14

NETL has coordinated support for research projects on the topic of produced water related to oil and gas development (not only for CBM).15 Other studies or reports sponsored by DOE's Office of Fossil Energy and/or NETL related to produced water from oil and gas or specific to CBM include those by Veil et al. (2004), Advanced Resources International (2002), and ALL Consulting (2002). Work at Sandia National Laboratories has focused primarily on beneficial uses for CBM produced water in the San Juan Basin (Hightower, 2003).

The Energy Information Administration is the primary statistical agency responsible for collecting data and providing analysis of CBM exploration and reserves, production, and consumption.16


State Agencies

State offices are often the first lines of consultation regarding state-specific CBM produced water data and analysis, and these offices work in collaboration with federal authorities. State natural resource management agencies in each of the respective states where CBM is commercially being recovered are actively engaged in data collection and compilation, research, reporting, and providing the public, academia, private consultants, and industry representatives access to such data. Chapter 3 describes the primary state agency and office functions and responsibilities in the western states where CBM and produced water are regulated and managed and provides Website information for these offices. State

14See (accessed March 23, 2010).

15See (accessed March 23, 2010).

16See (accessed March 23, 2010).

geological surveys, not described in any detail in Chapter 3, are also significant contributors to research in the following areas:

• Colorado State Geological Survey;17

• Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology;18

• New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources;19

• North Dakota Geological Survey;20

• Utah Geological Survey;21 and

• Wyoming State Geological Survey.22

Interagency (federal and state) and interstate working groups also address produced water management issues and have supported research or compiled handbooks on related topics:

• Powder River Basin Interagency Working Group;23

• Western Governors' Association (WGA, 2006); and

• Western States Water Council.24

University Research

Numerous university research groups and nonprofit organizations actively conduct research on CBM and produced water effects and management. The research areas include agricultural sciences, biological sciences, civil engineering, ecology, environmental sciences, geosciences, hydrological sciences, and law. These resources include the following:

• Colorado School of Mines;25

• Colorado State University;26

• Montana State University;27

17See (accessed March 23, 2010).

18See (accessed March 23, 2010).

19See (accessed March 23, 2010).

20See (accessed March 23, 2010).

21See (accessed March 23, 2010).

22See (accessed March 23, 2010).

23See (accessed March 23, 2010).

24See (accessed March 23, 2010).

25See, e.g.,;;; and (accessed March 23, 2010).

26See, e.g.,;; and shtml (accessed March 23, 2010).

27See (accessed March 23, 2010).

• New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology;28

• New Mexico State University;29

• University of Colorado;30

• University of Montana;31

• University of New Mexico;32

• University of Utah;33

• University of Wyoming;34 and

• Utah State University.35

28See;; and (accessed March 23, 2010).

29See;;; (accessed March 23, 2010).

30See;;; and www. (accessed March 23, 2010).

31See departments/dbs.cfm;; and (accessed March 23, 2010).

32See;; and (accessed March 23, 2010).

33See;; and (accessed March 23, 2010).

34See;;;; and uwadmnweb.uwyo. edu/law/ (accessed March 23, 2010).

35See;; (accessed March 23, 2010).


Advanced Resources International. 2002. Powder River Basin Coalbed Methane Development and Produced Water Management Study. Prepared for U.S. Department of Energy Office of Fossil Energy and National Energy Technology Laboratory. DOE/NETL-2003/1184. Washington, D.C. Available at (accessed March 23, 2010).

ALL Consulting. 2002. Handbook on Best Management Practices and Mitigation Strategies for Coal Bed Methane in the Montana Portion of the Powder River Basin. Prepared for U.S. Department of Energy, National Petroleum Technology Office, National Energy Technology Laboratory. Tulsa, OK.

ALL Consulting. 2003. Handbook on Coal Bed Methane Produced Water: Management and Beneficial Use Alternatives. Prepared for Groundwater Protection Research Foundation; U.S. Department of Energy; and National Petroleum Technology Office, Bureau of Land Management. Tulsa, OK. Available at pdf (accessed March 4, 2010).

Bartos, T.T., and K.M. Ogle. 2002. Water Quality and Environmental Isotopic Analyses of Ground-water Samples Collected from the Wasatch and Fort Union Formations in Areas of Coalbed Methane Development: Implications to Recharge and Ground-water Flow, Eastern Powder River Basin, Wyoming. U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 2002-4045.

BLM (Bureau of Land Management). 2001. Wyodak Drainage Coal Bed Methane Environmental Assessment WY-070-01-034. Buffalo, WY: Buffalo Field Office. Available at bfodocs/wyodak.Par.8650.File.dat/00dr_fonsi.pdf (accessed March 23, 2010).

BLM. 2005. Oil and Gas Leasing Environmental Assessment 070-05-064. Buffalo, WY: Buffalo Field Office. Available at pdf (accessed March 23, 2010).

Cox, D., P. Onsager, J. Thomson, R. Rienke, G. Gianinny, C. Vliss, J. Hughes, and M. Janowiak. 2001. San Juan Basin Ground Water Modeling Study: Ground Water—Surface Water Interactions Between Fruitland Coalbed Methane Development and Rivers. Sponsored by the Ground Water Protection Research Foundation. Available at http://www. und%20Water-%20Surface%20Water%20Interactions%20Between%20Fruitland%20Coalbed%20Methane%20Devel opment%20and%20Rivers.pdf (accessed August 31, 2010).

Engler, T.W., B.S. Brister, H. Chen, and L.W. Teufel. 2001. Oil and Gas Resource Development for San Juan Basin, New Mexico: A 20-Year, Reasonable Foreseeable Development (RFD) Scenario Supporting the Resource Management Plan for the Farmington Field Office, Bureau of Land Management. Farmington, NM: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Farmington Field Office.

EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 2004. Evaluation of Impacts to Underground Sources of Drinking Water by Hydraulic Fracturing of Coalbed Methane Reservoirs. EPA 816-R-04-003. Washington, DC: EPA Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water. Available at (accessed March 23, 2010).

EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 2006. Technical Support Document for the 2006 Effluent Guidelines Program Plan. EPA-821R-06-018. Washington, DC: EPA Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water. Available at www.epa. gov/waterscience/guide/304m/2006/ (accessed March 23, 2010).

Hightower, M. 2003. Managing coal bed methane produced water for beneficial uses, initially using the San Juan and Raton basins as a model. Presentation to the New Mexico Water Resources Institute. Available at (accessed February 23, 2010).

Nuccio, V.F. 2000. Coal-Bed Methane: Potential and Concerns. U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet FS-123-00. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior. Available at (accessed March 23, 2010).

Otton, J. 2006. Environmental Aspects of Produced-Water Salt Releases in Onshore and Coastal Petroleum-Producing Areas of the Conterminous U.S.—A Bibliography. Open-File Report 2006-1154. Washington, DC: U.S. Geological Survey. Available at (accessed March 23, 2010).

Rice, C.A., and V.F. Nuccio. 2000. Water produced with coalbed methane. U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet FS-156-00. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior. Available at (accessed February 23, 2010).

USGS (U.S. Geological Survey). 2005. Total Petroleum System and Assessment of Coalbed Gas in the Powder River Basin Province, Wyoming and Montana. Washington, D.C.: USGS. Available at chapters.html (accessed March 23, 2010).

Veil, J.A., M.G. Puder, D. Elcock, and R.J. Redweik, Jr. 2004. A White Paper Describing Produced Water from Production of Crude Oil, Natural Gas, and Coal Bed Methane. Argonne National Laboratory. Prepared for the National Energy Technology Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, under Contract W-31-109-Eng-38. Available at www.ead.anl. gov/pub/doc/ProducedWatersWP0401.pdf (accessed January 27, 2010).

WGA (Western Governors' Association). 2006. Coal Bed Methane Best Management Practices: A Handbook. Denver, CO: WGA. Available at (accessed March 23, 2010).

Wheaton, J., and J. Metesh. 2001. Administrative Report to Bureau of Land Management: Potential Ground-water Impacts from Coal-bed Methane Development in Portions of Montana (2D Groundwater Model). Butte: Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology. Available at WaterModel-ingReport.pdf (accessed March 23, 2010).

Wheaton, J., and J.M. Metesh. 2002. Potential Ground-water Drawdown and Recovery from Coalbed Methane Development in the Powder River Basin, Montana. Project completion report to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology Open-File Report 458.

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