This paper presents an improved reservoir simulation approach to methane production in a longwall mining environment. The coal beds are naturally fractured systems with the gas adsorbed into the coal matrix. Fractures penetrating the coal matrix have limited storage capacity, but they play the role of a gas transportation system. The proposed simulation technique is based on the assumption that a mass of coal removed by mining transfers its gas to adjacent fractures. By using an ECLIPSE coal bed methane simulator, the pore volume of the matrix represents the coal volume of the simulation cell. Consequently, the exploitation of coal can be simulated by modifying the matrix pore volume over time. This paper presents theoretical backgrounds of this approach and investigates numerical effects. A case study of the Moszczenica coal mine in Poland, including computer simulations of methane production, is also reported to show that a long history of the methane and coal recovery can be reproduced using the proposed technique.

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