April 12 Coal and natural gas producer Consol
Energy Inc's coal output exceeded its estimates for the
first quarter due to stronger-than-expected export demand and
cold weather that prompted power utilities to take all
Coal production in the quarter was 14.8 million tons, above
the company's expectations of 13.7-14.1 million tons, while
inventory fell to the lowest in 15 years, the company said.
Consol, however, said its production is likely to dip to
13.25-13.75 million tons in the second quarter.
The EIA expects U.S. coal exports to fall this year due to
continuing economic weakness in Europe, falling prices and
increasing production in rival coal-exporting countries.
Consol said it was still unknown when production would
restart at its Blacksville No. 2 Mine in West Virginia, idled
due to a fire that started on March 12. The fire was
extinguished on March 24.
The mine has been producing about 400,000 tons of coal per
Second-quarter gas production, net to Consol, is expected to
be about 38-40 billion cubic feet equivalent (bcfe), compared
with the 39.2 bcfe produced in the first quarter.
The company will report first-quarter financial results on
Consol shares, which have risen more than 5 percent this
year, closed at $33.87 on the New York Stock Exchange on