EIA: Coal expected to recapture some market from gas - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

EIA: Coal expected to recapture some market from gas

Posted: Updated:
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • UPDATE: Power Restored to Over 400 in Raleigh County

    UPDATE: Power Restored to Over 400 in Raleigh County

    Monday, September 1 2014 12:33 PM EDT2014-09-01 16:33:12 GMT
    Emergency crews are responding to a downed tree on the 300 block of Stovall Road in Glen Morgan Monday (9/1) morning.
    Emergency crews are responding to a downed tree on the 300 block of Stovall Road in Glen Morgan Monday (9/1) morning.
  • Update: Names Released in Deadly Crash in McDowell County

    Update: Names Released in Deadly Crash in McDowell County

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:54 AM EDT2014-09-01 15:54:18 GMT
    Fatal Car Accident in McDowell CountyFatal Car Accident in McDowell County
    Two people were killed in a car crash Sunday, August 31. Troopers at the Princeton detachment of the West Virginia State Police said three people were traveling from Cheers in Princeton back home to Northfork when they crashed on Route 52 near Switchback. One man and one woman were killed and one man was sent to Bluefield Medical Center. Troopers told us in a statement made by the survivor, the man said the driver was drunk and driving too fast on wet roads when they lost control of the car.T...
    Two people were killed in a car crash Sunday, August 31. Troopers at the Princeton detachment of the West Virginia State Police said three people were traveling from Cheers in Princeton back home to Northfork when they crashed on Route 52 near Switchback. One man and one woman were killed and one man was sent to Bluefield Medical Center. Troopers told us in a statement made by the survivor, the man said the driver was drunk and driving too fast on wet roads when they lost control of the car.T...
  • Update: New Information Released in Raleigh County Murder Investigation

    Update: New Information Released in Raleigh County Murder Investigation

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:48 AM EDT2014-09-01 15:48:36 GMT
    Joe Collins is arrested on murder chargesJoe Collins is arrested on murder charges
    The Raleigh County Sheriffs Office made an arrest Sunday after a man was murdered in Glen White.Joe Collins was arrested and is being charged with 1st degree murder for the shooting and killing of Larry Totten.The incident occurred Sunday morning at Mr. Tottens residence.
    The Raleigh County Sheriffs Office made an arrest Sunday after a man was murdered in Glen White.Joe Collins was arrested and is being charged with 1st degree murder for the shooting and killing of Larry Totten.The incident occurred Sunday morning at Mr. Tottens residence.

After losing a big chunk of market share to natural gas, coal is expected to snatch back some of its share as producer of domestic energy.

That's according to data from the Energy Information Administration's newly released short-term energy outlook. The turnabout, said EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski, is due to an increase in natural gas prices.

"An expected increase in natural gas prices this year contributes to a drop in natural gas use for U.S. electric power generation, and an increase in output at coal-fired power plants," Sieminski said. "Coal's share of U.S. electricity generation is forecast to rise to nearly 40 percent in 2013 from just over 37 percent last year, but still be less than coal's 42 percent share in 2011."

A glut of natural gas supplies due to increased domestic production in plays such as the Marcellus Shale and Utica Shale regions has kept prices low. The low gas prices have made it increasingly difficult for coal to compete in the electrical generation market, although it still remains the dominant producer of U.S. electricity.

"The rising cost of natural gas is expected to reduce its share of U.S. electricity generation to 28 percent his year from just over 30 percent last year, but that's higher than its nearly 25 percent share in 2011," Sieminski said.

Coal production has continued to decline. Total production is down bout about 9.9 million short tons from the first quarter of 2013 to the previous quarter. Much of that decline was experienced in the Western region, though coal production in Appalachia also fell about 6 percent.

Coal consumption is expected to increase from 889 million short tons in 2012 to 957 million short tons by 2014. The consumption of coal in electricity plants is expected to increase due to a rise in natural gas prices that have recently hovered at record lows.

"Coal production is expected to increase by 0.5 percent in 2013 as primary and secondary inventory draws, combined with an increase in coal imports, meet most of the growth in consumption," EIA's short term energy outlook projects. "Coal production is forecast to grow by 2.0 percent in 2014."

A colder-than-expect March accounted for underestimated consumption of natural gas. The weather significantly increased the EIA's expected use of natural gas in 2013.

"Unusually cold temperatures in March led to larger-than-expected withdrawals of natural gas from storage," Sieminski said. "The 94 billion cubic feet of gas pulled out of storage for the week ending March 29 was the largest net withdrawal for this time of year since EIA began its weekly storage data collection in 2002."