In the News
Coal bows to natural gas, as consumption falls to lowest since 1984
Hellenic Shipping News reports: The U.S. electric-power sector last year consumed the lowest amount of coal since 1984—thanks to competition from natural gas. The Energy Information Administration’s Today in Energy report Friday showed consumption of 677 million tons of coal by the domestic electric power sector in 2016—and that represented more than 93% of all coal consumed in the country. Consumption has now dropped by 35% from the peak in 2008, when coal production reached its highest level. Over the last 10 years, the price of coal delivered to power plants averaged 50%, compared with that of natural gas. But in 2016, “the cost of coal was 73% that of natural gas, which is the highest since 1978. Overall, given the “advantages of lower pollution and flexibility, coal [in 2016] was the most expensive relative to gas in four decades.”
U.S. natural gas futures fall to lowest since March on weather outlook
Investing.com reports: U.S. natural gas futures slid to the lowest level since mid-March on Monday, after the latest U.S. weather model called for mild temperatures over the next two weeks. Prices of the fuel dropped about 7% last week, the biggest weekly loss since the end of January. Market participants looked ahead to weekly storage data due on Thursday, which is expected to show a build in a range between 88 and 98 billion cubic feet in the week ended June 2. That compares with a gain of 81 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, an increase of 65 billion a year earlier and a five-year average rise of 94 billion cubic feet.