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  • Production At Rio Tinto's Bingham Canyon Mine [View article]
    Ouch! Thanks for the info arbtrdr - mind posting a link of where you found this? Everything I see is still saying minimal damage to equipment and one building. I know they're still processing material from a muck pile but no info on how much of the pit is covered.
    Apr 12 05:24 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Future Of U.S. Coal Exports [View article]
    Thanks for the link. I touched on some of that in an article yesterday (http://seekingalpha.co...) which was a review of EIA's latest STEO. With gas prices where they're at, coal's looking pretty good to the utilities. The real burden of proof in terms of confirmation (from my perspective) is that coal weekly average spot prices went up fairly significantly in nearly all Basins (except the ILB) last week. The fact that even CAPP spot prices went up by $2.31/ton is good news.
    Apr 12 02:43 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Future Of U.S. Coal Exports [View article]
    I agree that China and India would prefer to produce enough coal to eliminate their need for imports. However, I doubt they will reach that point by 2017. Year-over-year, for at least the last five years, they've been importing more and more coal. A good chunk of their southern coal is extremely high in sulfur and ash - which severely limits its use. On a $/Btu basis, cheap coal from the PRB with reduced transport costs would be able to compete with some domestic production and could displace some Australian/Indonesian imports.
    Apr 10 10:33 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Utilities Done Switching From Coal-To-Gas? [View article]
    comcity, if you're referring to the NRP graph (the second to last one) - then you are, indeed, correct. I stated in my PRB Coal article from a couple weeks ago (in which I also included the graph) that it was a few months dated; however, I forgot to mention that in this article. Thanks for catching this!
    Apr 5 06:50 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Utilities Done Switching From Coal-To-Gas? [View article]
    Agree completely, that's why I thought it was important to include Thomas Farrell's statement (a lot of other power suppliers have made similar comments) - it shows that there's no immediate appetite to make drastic changes in the near term.
    Apr 5 11:05 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Utilities Done Switching From Coal-To-Gas? [View article]
    The difficulty with controlling natural gas production has been twofold. Initially, rapid technological advancements meant that the industry had to scramble to adjust (see my article from last week on NG). More recently, control of production is hampered due to wet producers still bringing in volumes while dry producers must produce in order to have continued cash flows. That's a bit of an oversimplification but gives a good idea of why gas went from $13/MMBtu in 2008 to under $2/MMBtu last year.

    I agree that coal will remain the base load supply for a long time; hence, why I wrote, "overzealousness of coal-to-gas switching has, in my opinion, been somewhat overblown". The EIA graph at the top shows coal with the majority of generation into 2040. Of course, export terminals (for either LNG or coal) could change the playing field significantly. Additionally, as others have mentioned, environmental impacts will play an increasing role.
    Apr 5 10:59 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Utilities Done Switching From Coal-To-Gas? [View article]
    vampirefluff, I plan to work on an article detailing coal export terminals (particularly in the northwest) for next week. Interesting topic...
    Apr 5 10:45 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Utilities Done Switching From Coal-To-Gas? [View article]
    Mike, I need you to edit for me - you could have saved me some time!
    Apr 5 10:44 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Utilities Done Switching From Coal-To-Gas? [View article]
    Thanks for sharing the link, also interesting to note their 2013 price target for NG at $3.50/MMBtu.
    Apr 5 10:42 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Where's Natural Gas Going Next? [View article]
    Coastside1000, nice catch. I chose to gloss over this fact to keep from convoluting the focus of the article but you are, indeed, correct - not all of the production increases in PA are due solely to horizontal wells replacing non-horizontal.
    Mar 31 03:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Where's Natural Gas Going Next? [View article]
    Outcastresearcher, your point is well taken. My analysis of natural gas is generally predicated on my focus of the coal markets. Of course there are numerous factors that could impact NG prices a year from now; many more than I could cover in such a general article (weather, major changes in the future of either LNG or coal export terminals, etc). Perhaps I should have prefaced my forecast by saying something along the lines of, "barring any major upsets to energy supply/demand balances and given today's energy market trends play out as forecasted, I would expect NG prices to reach the range of $4.50-$5.00."
    Mar 31 03:06 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Powder River Basin Coal - 2013 Forecasts [View article]
    I would have to look up which company has the most contracted export potential through the Pacific Northwest (Peabody?). Nevertheless, I think CLD is well positioned. They have several agreements lined up if/when a terminal comes on line and are one of the cheapest producers in the Basin.

    It'll be interesting to see how the prospects for a terminal pan out. Understandably, people in those cities and towns don't want coal trains rumbling by all day long (I've heard forecasts of up to 300+ cars a day!).
    Mar 28 02:44 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Future Of Iron Ore [View article]
    PSalerno, sorry for the ambiguity. I meant that of the top 50 low-cost iron ore mines Vale accounts for 9,Rio for 9, and BHP for 5. Between the three, they own nearly half of the lowest cost iron ore mines.
    Mar 28 11:37 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Future Of Iron Ore [View article]
    In terms of the Ring of Fire, as I mentioned I'm working with jimmy11 (from comments above) on an article focusing on that. My short answer would be that Cliffs lacks the capital to make much progress in the region ($3.3 billion from a company with a market cap of $2.7 billion).
    Mar 28 11:36 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Future Of Iron Ore [View article]
    Aricool, thanks for the comments. I think we're probably more aligned than you think.

    There seem to be two issues on which we differ. On the first, Chinese growth forecasts, we don't seem too far apart. I agree, they won't be turning into a service economy any time soon. I also think your growth projection of iron ore sounds reasonable. The issue, in my opinion, is that the demand growth is outpaced by the supply growth - which brings us to the second issue. The major producers would have to be extremely disciplined in order to curtail the massive amount of production that will be coming online; including eating a huge amount of sunk costs. I'm of the opinion that most of these projects will still come on line and that the major producers would rather push out higher-cost production from North American and Brazil (when accounting for shipping) rather than idled their low-cost Australian mines/projects.

    In terms of the bulk shipping sector, I'd have to look into it further (if anyone is more familiar with this topic, please chime in). Perhaps the growth is from a combination of Vale, record US coal exports, and upgrades in shipping to new Panamax?
    Mar 28 11:34 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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