Revising Coal Reserves Downward

Rebecca Smith had a fascinating story in the Wall Street Journal Yesterday about evolving

Powder River Basin Province of northeastern Wy...
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methods of estimating coal reserves.  Recently, coal reserve estimates have been revised downward after considering economic factors, such as the coal-price at which extraction is profitable while still ensuring coal is competitive with other fuels.

The story is noteworthy for the rich assortment of data points it contains, which really give the story depth and context. Below is a sample of some of these data points.

Ms. Smith crushed this story. A must read for folks interested in coal, fossil fuels, or the energy sector generally.

Years the U.S. coal reserve will last (EIA) 240
Years the U.S. coal reserve will last (David Rutledge, C.I.T) 120
Annual U.S. coal production 1.1 billion tons
Amount production is expected to drop in 2009 up to 100 million tons
Coal prices $8.50 a ton for coal from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin, down 30% from last year
Share of U.S. coal produced by Arch Coal Inc. 12%
Amount of coal that leaves the Gillette coal field at Powder River each day 1.2 million short tons, filling more than 75 trains of 125 to 150 cars each
Coal reserves in Gillette field 201 billion short tons
Recoverabe coal reserves in Gillette field 77 billion short tons
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1 Comment

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One response to “Revising Coal Reserves Downward

  1. Pingback: Will the Surge in Natural Gas Reserves Change Our Energy Future? « Green Research

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