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CONSOL Energy Announces Operational And Financial Update; Company Expects To Report A Third Quarter Loss Due To Combination Of Marketing And Operational Issues; Gas Division Reports Exploratory Success In Utica Shale

Stocks in this article: CNX

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- CONSOL Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNX), the leading diversified fuel producer in the Eastern U.S., is providing an operational and financial update for the quarter ended September 30, 2012.

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120416/NE87957LOGO )

The company expects to report a net loss for the quarter, due to a combination of marketing and operational issues. "While precise figures are not yet available, it is clear that the company's previously announced planned and unplanned mine idlings took their toll on third quarter earnings," commented William J. Lyons, chief financial officer. "Fortunately, CONSOL Energy has the balance sheet to maintain market discipline. Even at the end of the quarter, our liquidity remained strong. At September 30, 2012, we had cash of $231 million, no short term debt, and $2.3 billion of capacity under our credit facilities."

During the last several months, CONSOL announced a planned two-week idling of Blacksville Mine and a one-week idling of Robinson Run Mine, due to weak thermal coal markets. The Fola Mine was also idled. Subsequently, the company suffered the failure of two new conveyor belts at the Bailey Preparation Plant, which impacted production at the Enlow Fork and Bailey mines. Then, in early September, the company announced the idling of its premier low-vol Buchanan Mine for an estimated 30-60 days.

CONSOL's Gas Division, in the Ohio Utica Shale joint venture with Hess Corporation, reported an exploratory success from a well drilled in Stock Township, Noble County, Ohio. Flowback operations are underway at the Noble 1A following a 30-day shut in period for dissipation of fracturing fluids. Early results are encouraging with peak 24-hour flows of 9.0 MMcfd gas and about 10 barrels per day of condensate. CONSOL is currently drilling the Noble 16A in nearby Seneca Township, also in Noble County. Overall, the joint venture has a significant acreage position in Noble County.

CONSOL's Coal Division produced 11.6 million tons during the quarter, including 0.8 million tons of low-vol metallurgical and mid-vol coal from the company's Buchanan and Amonate Mines.

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