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Qualification And Quantification Of Coal In The Patchawarra Formation Of The Southern Cooper Basin: Significance To In-Situ Coal Aquathermolysis

Dennis, Jamie R.

Geoscience Honours Degree, 2011

University of Adelaide


The liquefaction of solid fuels in boreholes with supercritical water has been suggested as a low cost, low emission method of extracting liquid hydrocarbon from traditionally uncommercial coal deposits. This study examines in a regional context, the potential of in-situ coal liquefaction of Australia’s largest known single coal deposit, occuring in the Patchawarra Formation of the southern Cooper Basin. Qualification of these coals describes the aliphatic-rich non-inertinite coaly material, defines likely commercial recovery factors for coal to oil liquefaction (aquathermolysis), and reviews published trends relating % inertinite to HI value and Rv(max). Quantification assesses the accuracy of electrofacies coal isopatch maps used to calculate total coal volume in the Patchawarra Formation, as well as compares published statistics on coal distribution. The results indicate coal reserves of 477.30 billion tonnes for the southern Cooper Basin with a conversion factor of 9.77% equating to potential resource estimates of 219.4 billion bbl of liquid hydrocarbon and 13.78 trillion meters³ of methane, equivalent to proven oil reserves in North America. Statistics are also derived for the Patchawarra Trough using a case-study data set from Bindah 3. Manual well interpretations indicate these results may be an underestimate by as much as 11%.

Australian School of Petroleum



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