Consol reports yearly production jump

JUST days ahead of its planned third-quarter earnings report, Pennsylvania producer Consol Energy has released a positive production report for its coal operations.
Consol reports yearly production jump Consol reports yearly production jump Consol reports yearly production jump Consol reports yearly production jump Consol reports yearly production jump

Image courtesy of Consol Energy.

Donna Schmidt

For the quarter ended September 30, the company’s total output was 14.7 million tons, including 1.3Mt of low-vol coal from its Buchanan mine in Virginia. Production was 12.9Mt overall during the same period of 2009, with 600,000t of that coming from the Buchanan operation.

Consol said earlier this year it anticipated sales in 2010 of 57.5Mt of thermal coal and 3Mt of metallurgical coal.

The company also highlighted its gas efforts in the production update, reporting that it set a new quarterly record in the period just ended of 35.8 billion cubic feet, a 44% jump year-on-year and a 112% increase over 2010’s second quarter.

Consol is the top US longwall mine operator; its portfolio includes the historically high-producing Enlow Fork and Bailey mines. Its entire mining profile extends from Pennsylvania and West Virginia to Virginia, Kentucky and Utah.

The company recently reduced its longwall count by one, announcing earlier this month that it would close its Mine 84 complex in southwestern Pennsylvania due to its high cost structure.

Notices were issued October 1 to 60 employees under the Work Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. Furloughs will occur over 14 days beginning December 1.

All employees will have the option to take a position at another Consol mine, the company said.

According to company data, Mine 84 – which produces from the prolific Pittsburgh 8 seam in southwestern Pennsylvania via longwall and room-and-pillar methods – had 3.6Mt of output in 2007.

Federal data reflects it as a nonproducing operation with no output in 2010, just over 514,000t in 2009 and 1.83Mt in 2008.