Should I Use Mechanical or Pneumatic Controls for my Coal Seam Gas production? 

Kimray has helped pioneer coal seam gas production with producers across the United States, India, and Australia.  

Coal Seam Gas recovery, also called Coal Bed Methane production, is a method of recovering gas stored in coal.

In this video, we explain the process and two solutions Kimray provides to control it.  

Coal Seam Gas Production

Because coal seam gas wells are typically low pressure, producers must dewater the wells using various downhole pumps to provide the artificial lift. Water and a small amount of gas is pumped out of the tubing. This allows the gas to flow from the coal seams into and up the casing.  

On the surface, producers use separators to separate the gas from the water.  

Pneumatic Controls

Kimray provides two solutions to control the flow during this separation process: pneumatic and mechanical.  

Pneumatic controls are typically used when metering liquids is required. If a producer needs to meter the water, the pneumatic level controller can be configured for on/off operation. If you need to control the water level at multiple depths, the level controller is also available with hanging or split displacers. A back pressure regulator is also required to provide the energy to move the water out of the vessel.  

We recommend using a mini scrubber on the supply gas to handle wet gas and coal fines. A mini scrubber is a self-draining filter drip pot. 

Mechanical Controls

If you don’t need to meter your liquids, the industry-preferred method is mechanical control. Mechanical controls are ideal if your supply gas is wet or causing issues due to coal fine contamination.   

Kimray’s Mechanical Dump Valve is easy to install and reliable. You do not have to purchase additional equipment like gas scrubbers or worry about contaminated gas causing the controllers to malfunction. The mechanical configuration requires fewer parts to operate, and this results in ease of repair and decreased downtime. 

In this set up, you will need a spring-loaded back pressure regulator to provide the energy to move the water out of the vessel. 

After the gas leaves the separator, it enters the flow line. Water in the gas drops out and pools at low points during transportation. To prevent this pooling, producers can use a low-point drain and level controller to remove the water. This prevents the need for pigging.  

Have More Questions?

If you’d like more information about how Kimray can help with Coal Bed Methane production, contact your local Kimray store or authorized distributor. 


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Chris Mencor serves as Kimray’s International Director of Sales.