More About the Forum

Forum participants can share practical experience in the development and use of coalbed methane and present related information on the legal, environmental and related issues, which accompany the production of coalbed methane. The NACBMF hosts a yearly spring conference.

The NACBMF is governed by a Board of Directors and consists of representatives from the coalbed methane industry, coal and gas industries, gas marketing and service industries, and representatives from the legal, government, and education communities.

The Forum recognizes and awards individuals making significant contributions to the development and enhancement of gas production from coal seams and also provides student scholarships.

The Forum's History

  • 1985: Our Start

    In late 1985, several individuals involved in coalbed methane activities in Northern and Central Appalachian coal basins established the Pittsburgh Coalbed Methane Forum. The first forum was held on April 23, 1986 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and attended by 59 persons. The Forum was governed by a Steering Committee with representatives from the coalbed methane industry, coal producers, natural gas producers, as well as representatives from service industries, government and academia.

  • 1986: Second Session
    In the Fall of 1986, the Forum held its second session in Morgantown, West Virginia, establishing a pattern of Spring sessions in Pittsburgh and Fall sessions in Morgantown.
  • 1993: WVU Affiliation
    The Pittsburgh Coalbed Methane Forum became associated with West Virginia University in 1993, with the Department of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering providing coordination for the Forum.
  • 1994: From Pittsburgh to North America
    In 1994, the Pittsburgh Coalbed Methane Forum became the North American Coalbed Methane Forum to reflect more accurately the national and even international scope of the Forum. It is the only forum in North America providing a regular meeting venue for the coalbed methane industry.
  • 1996: Pioneers and International
    In 1996, the Forum recognized three individuals for their contributions to the development of coalbed methane. Recognized were Dr. Oliver Turner,* Mr. William Hurtt* and Mr. Maurice Deul. Each one of the individuals is a pioneer in the coalbed methane industry. (*Deceased)

    That same year, the Forum sponsored an "International Conference and Exhibition on Coalbed Methane Development." The two-day conference provided an opportunity for various countries to present information on coalbed methane reserves, infrastructure and business climates, as well as meet with people in the energy industry and investment community.
  • 1997: Incorporation
    In October 1997, the North American Coalbed Methane Forum was incorporated in the state of West Virginia as a not-for-profit corporation. The Board of Directors, elected annually at the Spring Session, governs the Corporation.
  • 1998: Scholarships Begin
    During the Fall Session of 1998, the North American Coalbed Methane Forum awarded its first scholarship. The scholarship in the amount of $1000.00 was awarded to Mr. Chad Stallard, an undergraduate in the Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering Department at West Virginia University. This scholarship is awarded to a qualified recipient selected by a special committee established by the Board of Directors.
  • 2003: Endowment
    In 2003, the Forum established an endowment with West Virginia University Foundation to provide a permanent NACBMF scholarship with the University.
  • 2010: 25th Anniversary
    In April of 2010 the Forum celebrated its 25th Anniversary. A two day session titled "Coalbed Methane: from Prospect to Pipeline" was held at the Hilton Garden Inn at Southpointe near Canonsburg, PA. The proceedings of the session were published by Elsevier in August 2014 and are available for purchase. The proceedings were edited by Drs. P. Thakur, S. Schatzel and K. Aminian. The publication has become a "go to" manual for coalbed methane and coal seam gas.
  • 2012: Quarterly Newsletter Begins
    In May 2012, at the conclusion of the spring session, forum attendees suggested that a quarterly newsletter on coalbed methane / coal seam gas be published by the Forum. At the July 2012 board meeting, Mr. Ihor Havryluk was appointed as the managing editor of the newsletter. The first issue of the newletter was published in September 2012.
  • 2015: The Future of Coal
    In May 2015, the Forum celebrated thirty years of forums. A two day session was held at the Hilton Garden Inn at Southpointe. The first day was a one day short course on exploration, development, and production of coalbed methane / coal seam gas. The second day was a technical conference, including a panel of states' coal association executives discussing "The importance of coal in the coal producing states." The luncheon keynote speaker was Mr. Robert Murray of Murray Energy Inc. who discussed "The future of coal in the United States."

Recognition Award

North American Coalbed Methane Forum has established a recognition award to acknowledge those individuals who have made significant contribution to the development and enhancement of gas production from coal seams.

  • Dr. Oliver Turner *
  • Mr. William Hurtt *
  • Mr. Maurice Deul
  • Mr. Chuck Dixon
  • Mr. Eustice Frederick *
  • Mr. Joseph Cervik
  • Mr. Charles Komar *
  • Mr. William Poundstone
  • Mr. G. R. Spindler *
  • Dr. Fred N Kissell
  • Mr. W P Diamond

* Deceased

Student Scholarship

Recipients of the Forum Scholarships Award (All students of West Virginia University)

  • Mr. Chad Stallard
  • Mr. Christopher Siplin
  • Mr. Christopher Grant
  • Mr. Matthew Osbourne