Argueably the second largest gas play in North America, the San Juan Basin offers opportunities and obstacles for developers of natural gas resources. Located in northwestern New Mexico and southwestern Colorado, ithe Basin currently is the most prolific coalbed gas basin in the world. Approximately, 80% of 1992 United States coalbed gas production (550 Gcf or 15.5 billion m3, total U.S.) came from Fruitland Formation (Upper Cretaceous) coal beds in the San Juan basin; Fruitland coalbed gas production in 1993 is estimated to have approached 600 Gcf (17.0 billion m3; R. Schraufnagel,
New opportunities exist in gas shales. However the large amounts of water sonsumed in massive hydraulic multi-stage fracturing represent a significant issue to be addressed.