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Energy / Coal

  • US Utilities Look Towards Colombia & Russia For Coal In 2014

    U.S. utilities are importing more coal from countries like Colombia, Russia and Indonesia in 2014 to hedge against poor railroad service, fulfill unique blends and, in an alarming trend for Central Appalachia coal producers, because it is less expensive than burning domestic coal.The U.S. imported 1.23 million tonnes of bituminous coal in the first quarter, according to SNL Energy data sourced from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, up 73.1% compared to the year-ago quarter. April and May coal imports also topped totals from a year ago.Southern Co. increased its purchases of Colombian coal by nearly 500,000…

  • Coal Enters New Phase of Insecurity

    Coal is the fastest growing source of energy across the world, as the developing world seemingly puts a new coal-fired power plant into operation as fast as they can build them. Coal provides 40% of the world’s electricity supply, and despite swift gains by renewable energy, it will remain a dominant source of power for the foreseeable future.However, the ubiquity of coal belies the very real cracks in its foundation. Those weaknesses could portend a much graver future for coal than many realize.Investors watching the energy picture in the U.S. are fully aware of the threat posed to coal from…

  • What Green Revolution? Coal Use Highest In 44 Years

    U.S. President Barack Obama may be engaging in a “war on coal” with carbon regulations intended to shrink coal’s share of energy production, but worldwide, coal is in its strongest position in decades. In 2013, enough coal was burned to meet 30.1 percent of the world’s energy demands -- its highest share since 1970, according to new data from BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy. The findings are striking because of trends that appear to be pushing coal to the sidelines: An abundance of natural gas in the United States has utilities switching away from coal; Europe’s efforts to reduce…

  • Soma Tragedy Won’t Deter Turkey From Coal

    Following the May 13 mine explosion in Soma, Turkey, which killed at least 282 miners and left dozens trapped after the blast, the Turkish government declared three days of mourning.Despite the tragedy, Turkey’s economy remains firmly wedded to the use of coal. Even as Turkey moves towards the construction of its first two nuclear power plants at Akkuyu near the Mediterranean and Sinop on the Black Sea, coal-fired power plants remains an important element in Turkey's electricity generation mix, and will be for the foreseeable future.According to the U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration, in 2012 Turkey imported 23 percent of…

  • China Burning and Consuming Most Of World's Coal

    China's coal consumption has grown rapidly in recent years, and is now far larger than anything the world has ever seen, with more than 3.2 billion tonnes per year, almost as much per year as all other countries combined, data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed Wednesday.According to the report, Chinese production and consumption of the fossil fuel rose for the 13th consecutive year in 2012, the last full year for which statistics are available. In comparative terms, the nation produced nearly four times as much coal as the second largest producer, the United States, which had a 12%…

  • An Up-Close Example of India's Coal Woes

    I've talked a lot recently about India's rising coal imports.Shipments of thermal coal into the country have been surging the last few years. Providing one of the most unexpected drivers in the global market for this commodity.Of course, there's no reason this should be happening. India holds some of the largest coal reserves on the planet. In theory, it should be able to produce all the supply it needs--and probably more.But news this week shows clearly why this isn't happening. Because politics--both national and local--are too big a barrier.The announcement in question came from Australian engineering contractor Leighton Holdings. Who…

  • Coal: The World’s Deadliest Source Of Energy

    Coal is the largest source of electricity across the world, mainly because it is abundant and cheap. But a string of coal mining accidents this week has served as a stark reminder that coal also remains the world’s most deadly source of energy. In West Virginia, two miners were killed on May 12 while performing a particularly dangerous form of coal mining known as “retreat mining.” The miners were removing pillars of coal that hold up the roof of a mine, which causes a burst of coal to shoot down from the roof or wall, which is then extracted. This…

  • Ukraine Crisis Feeding Poland’s Coal Hunger

    Poland is the largest European Union member state bordering Russia and, under its current center-right government, has been point man for a group of countries urging the EU to reduce its dependence on Russian energy, even before the Ukrainian crisis sent EU-Russia relations into a deep freeze.Warsaw also heads a group mainly of former socialist countries that want to water down the European Commission’s climate and energy package, especially the 2020 and 2030 deadlines for deep cuts in CO2 emissions.Now Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has folded these two energy goals into one ambitious plan for an EU “energy union.”Tusk…

  • Coal Increasingly Seen As Option For European Energy Security

    The crisis in Ukraine has thrust energy security to the top of the agenda in European capitals. With Russia accounting for almost one-third of Europe’s natural gas, the prospect of the conflict escalating has stoked fears of a supply disruption. At the time of this writing, Ukrainian officials said that any crossing of the border by Russian troops would be viewed in Kiev as an “invasion,” suggesting that the conflict could come to a head in the coming days or weeks. While Europe’s dependence on Russian gas has been on the decline for years, it is obviously not free of…

  • The 3 Most Important Numbers in Energy

    The Insider’s weekly run-down of critical figures and happenings from around the energy world.$200 million. Amount major energy private equity player Riverstone Holdings is investing into unconventional plays in western Canada, through an equity stake in privately-held Canadian International Oil Corp. Canadian International is focused on the emerging Montney and Duvernay plays of the Canadian Deep Basin. An area that has recently seen a surge of development for both oil and liquids-rich gas.   The firm was founded in 2010 and holds an extensive land package totaling nearly 400,000 acres.20. Number of new offshore exploration licenses awarded by former pariah nation…