More than half of all U.S. coalbed methane wells were drilled in 1990. Last year's flurry of coalbed drilling stemmed from an effort to beat the then impending Jan. 1, 1991, deadline of the federal Section 29 tax credit. The tax credit since has been renewed. The pace of activity put a strain on the industry's infrastructure. As a result, less than half of U.S. coalbed methane wells are producing. Those are among the key findings of a study by consultants Ammonite Resources, New Canaan, Conn. "Despite some initial disappointments, most operators are encouraged by the results to ...

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