PITTSBURGH, March 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- CONSOL Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNX) has received approval from MSHA, state, and UMWA officials of its plan to re-enter the Blacksville No. 2 Mine, which was evacuated on March 12 when smoke was detected exiting the Orndoff shaft.
Since that date, CONSOL Energy, working closely with federal and state authorities, pumped a sufficient amount of water into the mine to complete the water seal and remotely pumped eight isolation walls from the surface to seal off the fire area. This process was completed on Sunday, March 24 at 7:00 a.m. Analysis of the continuous mine atmosphere readings that the team has been taking indicates that gas levels remain steady and oxygen levels continue to decrease. As result, CONSOL Energy believes the fire has been successfully extinguished.
CONSOL Energy Senior Vice President Chuck Shaynak said, "I am extremely proud of the successful collaborative effort from federal and state agencies, the UMWA, contractors/vendors and our employees on site who worked around-the-clock to remotely extinguish a fire in less than twelve days. Without their efforts, we would not be where we are today. Most importantly, we accomplished all of the work without an injury."CONSOL Energy and state and federal agencies will continue monitoring the mine atmosphere prior to re-entry, which is scheduled to begin at approximately 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 27, if all atmospheric monitoring continues to indicate that it is safe to enter. Blacksville No. 2 Mine produces approximately 400,000 tons of coal per month under normal operations.
About CONSOL EnergyCONSOL Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNX) is a Pittsburgh-based producer of coal and natural gas. It has 12 bituminous coal mining complexes in four states and reports proven and probable coal reserves of 4.2 billion tons. The company's premium Appalachian coals are sold worldwide to electricity generators and steelmakers. In natural gas, CONSOL Energy has transformed itself from a pure-play coalbed methane producer to a full-fledged exploration and production company. The company is a leading producer in the Marcellus Shale and is transitioning its active exploration program into development mode in the Utica Shale. CONSOL Energy has proved natural gas reserves of 4.0 trillion cubic feet. Operational safety is the company's top core value and CONSOL Energy boasts a record of almost two times better than the industry average for underground bituminous coal mines. CONSOL Energy is a member of the Standard & Poor's 500 Equity Index and the Fortune 500. Additional information about CONSOL Energy can be found at its Web site: www.consolenergy.com.