trending Market Intelligence /marketintelligence/en/news-insights/trending/a3s3awlakzzy22xdmz_hjw2 content
Log in to other products

Login to Market Intelligence Platform

 /


Looking for more?

Contact Us

Request a Demo

You're one step closer to unlocking our suite of comprehensive and robust tools.

Fill out the form so we can connect you to the right person.

If your company has a current subscription with S&P Global Market Intelligence, you can register as a new user for access to the platform(s) covered by your license at Market Intelligence platform or S&P Capital IQ.

  • First Name*
  • Last Name*
  • Business Email *
  • Phone *
  • Company Name *
  • City *
  • We generated a verification code for you

  • Enter verification Code here*

* Required

Thank you for your interest in S&P Global Market Intelligence! We noticed you've identified yourself as a student. Through existing partnerships with academic institutions around the globe, it's likely you already have access to our resources. Please contact your professors, library, or administrative staff to receive your student login.

At this time we are unable to offer free trials or product demonstrations directly to students. If you discover that our solutions are not available to you, we encourage you to advocate at your university for a best-in-class learning experience that will help you long after you've completed your degree. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

In This List

Colo. coal production jumps 18.6% in 2017 after years of decline

Q2: U.S. Solar and Wind Power by the Numbers

Essential Energy Insights - September 17, 2020

Essential Energy Insights September 2020

Rate case activity slips, COVID-19 proceedings remain at the forefront in August


Colo. coal production jumps 18.6% in 2017 after years of decline

SNL Image

A monument to coal miners in Trinidad, Colo. Coal production in the state rose 18.6% in 2017 compared to 2016.

Source: Associated Press

Approved lease expansions, a strong export market and tax royalty savings helped boost year-over-year coal production in Colorado 18.6% in 2017 after years of decline.

According to data compiled by the Colorado Division of Reclamation Mining and Safety, the state's mines produced 15.2 million tons of coal in 2017 compared to 12.8 million tons in 2016. The state's coal output has declined every year since 2012, when 28.6 million tons were produced.

"I think we're encouraged. We dropped 30% in 2016, and that was partly because of the [Bowie Resource Partners LLC] No. 2 mine closing. Obviously, the [remaining] mines showed some resiliency," Colorado Mining Association President Stan Dempsey said.

He said the Trump administration's initiative to revive the coal industry by modifying regulations from the Obama administration also helped. "The 2016 election totally made a difference. The Stream Protection Rule would have had disastrous effects everywhere."

Most of the increase came from upticks in production at the state's two largest mines: Arch Coal Inc.'s West Elk and Peabody Energy Corp.'s Foidel Creek, also known as the Twentymile mine.

Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc.'s Colowyo mine and Deseret G&T Co-op's Deserado mine also saw significant boosts.

Dempsey said lease expansions or royalty reductions at some of the mines helped boost production levels. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management shows that the Foidel Creek and Colowyo mines were authorized for lease expansions in 2016.

In August 2017, Gov. John Hickenlooper, D-Colo., threw his support behind Arch's request to pay lower royalty rates for the coal it mines at West Elk as long as the coal producer worked on a way to capture the methane released at the operation.

Arch CEO John Eaves said on a recent earnings call that West Elk, which ships coal for export to Asia via California, ran above capacity for most of the year to capitalize on high prices on the Newcastle price index.

"That's a mine that has many different customers, rather than other mines that are pretty much dedicated to one or two different power plants in northwest Colorado," Dempsey said.

Peabody CFO and Executive Vice President Amy Schwetz said on the producer's fourth-quarter 2017 earnings call that Foidel Creek also benefited from exports in 2017.

"That came dangerously close to the mine not being able to continue production," Dempsey said.

In January, the most recent month for which the Colorado agency has data, coal production stayed relatively flat year over year at 1.3 million tons, even though Western Fuels-Colorado LLC's New Horizon North mine is no longer producing.

Overall production in the Uinta Basin, which includes Colorado's biggest mines as well as operations in neighboring Utah, rose 13% in 2017 compared to 2016.