Jan 14 Coal miner Consol Energy Inc
expects capital budget for the year to be lower by about 12
percent and said a majority of the spending would be directed
towards its gas operations.
Consol, which set a capital budget of $1.29 billion to $1.50
billion for 2013, expects to invest $835 million to $865 million
this year after raking in an estimated $455-$640 million from
The company said it does not expect to invest in major coal
projects once it completes its BMX Longwall mine in Western
Pennsylvania. The mine is scheduled for completion during the
first quarter of 2014.
Consol sees annual coal investments approaching
maintenance-of-production levels of $5 to $6 per ton in 2014 and
beyond. The company's capital budget for 2012 was $1.7 billion.
The company, which also operates natural gas wells in the
Marcellus Shale region of the Northeastern United States,
expects gas production to rise between 8 percent and 15 percent
this year due to the increased investment.
Damp demand from China, weak prices and escalating operating
costs are adding to troubles at U.S. coal companies, which have
taken a hit as an increasing number of power companies replace
thermal coal with cheaper natural gas.
Rival Peabody Energy Corp said last month that it
would halve its capital spending for 2013 due to weak prices and