The Boli basin has coalbed methane (CBM) resource of 57×108m3 at a coal-bearing area of about 7200km2. Although the basin has huge CBM development potential, the study on the characteristics of coal reservoirs is still deficient. In the paper, the physical properties (including coal petrography, rank, quality, porosity and permeability) of the coals were studied by: (1) measuring vitrinite reflectance, coal maceral composition and coal quality; (2) quantitatively counting microfractures; (3) porosity and permeability tests; and (4) low-temperature N2 isotherm adsorption/desorption and mercury porosimetry analyses. Results show that: (1) coal maceral composition is dominated by vitrinite (77.0-95.1 %); (2) the maximum vitrinite reflectance of coals ranges from 0.48 to 1.76 % Ro, max; (3) coal is composed of high carbon content (63.43-85.14%), low hydrogen content (3.23-4.56%), extremely low moisture content (0.18-1.18%) and widely varied ash yield (7.54 to 29.23%); (4) Coal pores are dominated by micropores (40.6-69.3%), and the pores with a diameter of 0-10nm are dominant (59.6-80.9%); (5) coal permeability values vary from 0.04 to 3.92mD with an average of 1.98mD. In addition, according to the mercury porosimetry analysis, pore-fractures size distribution was summarized as four types: Types Ⅰ and Ⅲ are favorable for developing CBM and represent good pore-fracture structures.