Coalbed methane (CBM) has attracted much attention as a kind of new energy sources, with increasing demand in energy consumption. As a lot of wells are being developed in CBM, pipeline networks of CBM fields are characterized by their complex topological structures and high investment costs. Therefore, the optimization of the gathering pipeline network topology structure will be very useful in lowering the production costs. Although previous research has been done on topological structure optimization, most of them are conducted on two-dimension geographical conditions, whose performances are not very satisfing. In this paper, first of all, the result of two-dimensional topological structure optimization is given based on four sorts of connecting structures using Genetic Algorithm (GA). Then, considering geographic factors, a three-dimensional topological structure is obtained through ant colony algorithm (ACO).Taking a CBM field with 38 wells as an example, the paper has optimized the topological structure. The result shows that by using this method the investment cost is reduced by 16.3% compared with that of the original structure. The study provides a guideline for designing pipeline network structure in CBM fields and is also applicable to the analogous problem for similar mineral source.

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