CBM and shale gas has been proven a viable energy source in North America and eastern Australia (CBM only) where commercial production has become an important part of their respective energy mix. Dart Energy believes CBM and shale gas is positioned to provide an alternative source of cleaner energy into an increasingly energy constrained world. We believe the successes in North America and Australia can be replicated in Asia and Europe and that the nature of these markets in many respects present an even more attractive commerical prospect than the US and Australia.
Hydrocarbon resources can be classed as conventional or unconventional. Unconventional refers oil or gas resource that until recently have not been able to be extracted using conventional recovery technologies, either due to the lack of technology or were not economic to produce. Improvements of geological and geochemical exploration, and drilling and completion technologies have opened up vast new resources that have been overlooked in the past. They can be charcterised by the reservoir type, the technologies required or the environment it is found in. Examples include tight oil and gas formations, coalbed methane, shale gas, heavy oil, oil shale, deepwater plays and gas hydrates. CBM and shale gas are classed as unconventional gas.
Coal is created by the decay of organic matter over time. As the heat and underground pressure builds - and the coal begins to form - methane is gradually adsorbed into the surface of the coal. The formation of coal over time from the gradual breakdown of organic matter creates methane, which in turn finds itself trapped under increasing depths of burial. Unlike conventional natural gas reservoirs found in rock such as sandstone, the methane is not held in a void of space but instead clings onto the micropores of the surface of the coal.