Study: Production costs key in closure of Appalachian coal mines

first_imgStudy: Production costs key in closure of Appalachian coal mines FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):A new working paper focused on Appalachia coal mines concludes that mounting production costs were responsible for far more closures than [falling] natural gas prices in the time period they studied.“We used a model to analyze these different scenarios, and what comes out of it is, rather than these different demand-side factors, which have been recently attributed as the biggest heartache for Appalachia mining firms, we actually found that it was their own production costs that were likely the biggest drivers of the industry’s decline in that region,” said Brett Jordan, a postdoctoral researcher at the University Alaska Anchorage’s Institute of Social and Economic Research and the lead author of the paper.The paper modeled mine closure decisions as a function of expected profitability and concluded that between 2002 and 2012 — a period that largely precedes a boom in Marcellus shale development that flooded Appalachia and surrounding regions with abundant and cheap natural gas —about two-thirds of observed coal mine closures were caused by declining profits. Some of the factors leading to reduced profits include lower worker productivity, higher health and safety costs, and higher bonding costs. Natural gas prices and reduced electricity consumption independently explain about one-third of the mine closures in the observed period, the report concludes.The new working paper from Jordan and his co-authors found that between 2002 and 2012, the real per-ton extraction costs in Appalachia had nearly doubled, with companies attributing factors such as the price of machine capital, steel, replacement parts, labor and diesel fuel in their public filings. Companies mining in the region have also increasingly pointed to tightening environmental and labor regulations as the depletion of coal reserves continues to push these companies into thinner and lower-quality seams of coal in the region.“The conclusion that declining mine productivity explains more closures than declining coal demand is perhaps surprising, given the focus of the literature and public debate on demand rather than supply-side factors,” the paper said. “However, this conclusion is consistent with the magnitudes of the shocks. During the sample period, declining productivity reduced annual operating profits three times as much as did lower natural gas prices or electricity consumption.”Had there not been such a drastic change in productivity, coal prices may have been sufficiently low for coal-fired plants to be competitive with natural gas plants, the report’s authors wrote.More ($): Study points to supply-side costs as biggest driver of Appalachia’s coal woeslast_img read more

Update: LNG carriers searched amidst terrorist threat to UK

first_imgLNG World News Staff (Article updated on 23.05. with a comment by the Port of Milford Haven)For the past two years, United Kingdom’s special forces have been reportedly searching for mines attached to LNG tankers transporting the chilled fuel from the Middle East to the UK’s receiving terminals. According to a report by the Mail on Sunday, Special Boat Service and the specialist divers from the Royal Navy, have been conducting secret searches on LNG carriers as threats of attacks by the terrorist groups like the Al Qaeda or ISIS grow.A senior Naval source was cited by the Mail as saying that the groups have acquired limpet mines which can be attached to the hull of the LNG tankers heading for the UK.Such mines can be activated once the ships reach LNG import terminals’ such as the South Hook LNG terminal in Milford Haven or the Isle of Grain terminal in Kent. An incident at one these facilities could have severe economic consequences and lead to gas shortage in the United Kingdom, the report said.Although a large number of vessels has been searched over the past couple of years it is unclear whether any limpet mines or similar improvised explosive devices (IEDs) have been found, the report noted.In addition to the dive searches on LNG carriers, Royal Navy warships calling in Egyptian ports as well as Beirut, Lebanon, are undergoing routine checks as these vessels have also become a target for terrorist attacks, the report said.LNG World News invited the Port of Milford Haven to comment on the report.Bill Hirst, Harbourmaster at the Port of Milford Haven, said: “We have seen the recent media reports but do not have access to information regarding any activity that may or may not be carried out by UK Special Forces.”last_img read more

West Genesee punches ticket to sectional final for first time since 2011

first_img Comments CICERO– Liverpool appeared ready to answer West Genesee again. The two teams traded punches the entire night, and the Section III semifinal filled with mistakes came down to one drive. Liverpool had a chance to deliver the last blow, a final score in the closing three minutes that would have almost certainly won the game.Liverpool needed a 4th and 13 conversion, one pass completion, when they hadn’t converted one for the entire night. Quarterback Alex Ruston dropped back, rolled a few steps to his left within the pocket and fired towards his biggest target, 6-foot-5 Kaleb Ohlemacher. Ohlemacher leaped and reached his arms up to no avail. The ball deflected off his fingertips, the final time a Liverpool player would touch the ball. West Genesee turned to its seniors repeatedly in Friday night’s semifinal to clinch its spot in the final, defeating Liverpool 17-14 at Cicero-North Syracuse. They will now take on Cicero-North Syracuse next Saturday in the Carrier Dome in the Section III Class AA final. It’ll be the Wildcats first sectional final since they won in 2011. Last year, West Genesee didn’t qualify for the playoffs, but they knew this year could be special. AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We knew tonight was going to be physical, and we had to be ready,” West Genesee head coach Joe Corley said. “It was a battle of two great teams.”When senior Brad May was a freshman, he said his coaches at the time told the varsity staff that his class could be special. Last year’s Wildcats weren’t ready or experienced enough, senior quarterback Tyler Cook said. They finished 4-5. “We were really young last year,” Cook said. “We knew this year could be special because we have a great coaching staff and a great group of guys.”Cook sat on the bench and observed last year. He learned the playbook and the offense. And Friday night, when West Genesee needed to produce one drive and one stop, the more experienced Wildcats prevailed.Liverpool rushed for 234 yards, but they passed for zero. Ruston attempted six passes, none caught. West Genny benefitted from two gifted turnovers, both off the hands of Ruston. Those two fourth-quarter drives sealed a spot in the next week’s sectional final in the Carrier Dome.The Wildcats turned the ball over three times themselves, two interceptions and a fumble deep in their own territory on the second half kick return. Liverpool started at the West Genesee 28-yard line. They didn’t score, failing a 4th-and-6 on an incomplete screen pass. But after Liverpool running back Cade Clouthier punched in a 4th-and-goal two-yard touchdown to give the Warriors a 14-10 lead, the Wildcats sideline went silent. Clouthier capped off a seven carry Liverpool touchdown drive similar to the first. They didn’t attempt a pass. In response, West Genesee turned to May seven times on its final full drive. While only throwing one pass on its game-winning drive, West Genesee stayed ahead of the chains. On third and goal from the one, May punched in the final touchdown up the middle. He waltzed into the end zone.“We knew they had a really tough defense,” Cook said. “We tried to just execute our game plan and treat it like they weren’t a good defense.” As simple as May’s game-winning steps into the end zone were, both offenses made countless mistakes. After Liverpool’s opening touchdown, seven of the next eight drives ended in turnovers or punts. The only successful drive was just one yard after Ruston’s second fumble in as many plays gave West Genny the ball on the goal line.West Genny forced enough negative plays to leave Liverpool in a pass-only situation on its final drive. For an offense that has relied heavily on its two running backs, Clouthier and Jacob Vacco, Rustin couldn’t rescue the Warriors. His sailed pass to Ohlemacher, followed by six consecutive runs by May to run out the clock, ended Liverpool’s season one step short of a night in the Dome. For West Genny, the Wildcats have a chance to avenge a 27-10 loss to C-NS from Sept. 28, when they trailed from the opening play. On that night, two long touchdowns doomed the Wildcats. One came on the opening play from scrimmage.“They’re a powerhouse team,” Cook said. “We need to be ready and learn from last time. I definitely like the warm (of the Dome), though.” Published on October 27, 2018 at 12:43 am Contact Anthony: amdabbun@syr.educenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more