PITTSBURGH, Nov. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- CONSOL Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNX) today announced that Randall M. "Randy" Albert, chief operating officer of its gas division, has made the decision to retire after 34 years of service to the company. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120416/NE87957LOGO) "Randy has played a key role in the development and growth of CONSOL Energy's gas business," commented J. Brett Harvey, Chief Executive Officer. "He pioneered the establishment of CONSOL Energy's coalbed methane gas business in Virginia in the early and mid-1980s and has been instrumental in building CONSOL Energy into one of the largest and most active E&P companies in the Appalachian basin today. His contributions have positioned our gas operations to achieve significant growth in the coming years and for that, we owe him our deepest gratitude." Mr. Albert began working for CONSOL Energy in 1979 as a mining engineer trainee and was tapped to lead operation of the coalbed methane gas business in Southern Appalachia in 1985. After the creation of CNX Gas Company LLC in 2005, Mr. Albert assumed the operational leadership role and successfully developed CONSOL Energy's gas business in Northern Appalachia. In 2010, he was named the chief operating officer for CONSOL Energy's gas division after the company acquired Dominion Resource's oil and gas assets. During his tenure, Mr. Albert led the rapid development of CONSOL Energy's Marcellus Shale program, becoming the second producer to get production in line from a Marcellus shale well that set a daily production record for more than six months. He also oversaw a production increase from 7MMCFD in 2006 to 285MMCFD currently, despite CONSOL Energy's divestment of half of its Marcellus production. Dave Spigelmyer, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, praised Mr. Albert's involvement in the organization. " Randy Albert has played a key role in the leadership of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, including serving as the organization's Chairman of the Board. Under Randy's leadership, he has helped to grow this industry into a world class employer in the Commonwealth, with a focus on safety and environmental stewardship. Over the past five years, the Marcellus Shale has grown exponentially and today is responsible for meeting nearly 15% of our nation's demand for natural gas. Randy has been a visionary leader and we are grateful for the role he has played in helping our nation to achieve meaningful energy security milestones. We thank Randy for his many contributions and wish him well in his retirement. " Mr. Albert graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with a B.S. in Mining Engineering. He is a board member of the Virginia Oil and Gas Association and served as a founding advisory member of the board and Chairman of the Marcellus Shale Coalition. Additionally, he currently serves on the advisory board for the Virginia Tech Mining Engineering Department. In 2013, he was chosen as a distinguished alumnus of Virginia Tech. CONSOL Energy is currently conducting a national search for a successor to lead its gas division and expects to name the new member of the company's senior management team in the very near future.