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.
Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (2022) 39:2333–2341, https://doi.org/10.1007/s42461-022-00680-3