March 2023
Volume 75    Issue 3

Evaluation of parameters influencing potential gas flow to the mine in the event of a nearby unconventional shale gas well casing breach

Ajayi, Kayode M.; Khademian, Zoheir; Schatzel, Steven J.


The integrity of unconventional shale gas well casings positioned in the abutment pillar of a longwall mine could be jeopardized by longwall-induced deformations. Under such scenarios, the surrounding fracture networks could provide pathways for gas flow into the mine, creating safety concerns. To provide recommendations for developing guidelines that ensure a safe coexistence of longwall mining and unconventional shale gas production, this study uses a discrete fracture network (DFN) model to evaluate the impact of parameters that could affect potential shale gas flow into the mine in the event of a casing breach. These parameters are evaluated using a conceptualized DFN realization that is representative of the fractured zone in the overburden, and the range of parameter variations are within values validated with field measurements.

Full-text paper:
Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (2022) 39:2333–2341,


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