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Houston — Coal is likely to make up 30.8% of US electricity generation in 2017 and 30.7% in 2018, both up from 30.4% in 2016, the US Energy Information Administration said Tuesday.

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Natural gas is again expected to exceed coal generation, totaling 31.5% in 2017 and 32.3% in 2018, the EIA said in monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook.

The EIA projects the spot Henry Hub price to average $3.12/MMBtu in 2017, up 19.5% from $2.61/MMBtu last year, and $3.21/MMBtu in 2018.

The average delivered price of coal is expected to be $2.13/MMBtu in 2017 and $2.20/MMBtu in 2018.

The agency expects US coal production to total 789.9 million st in 2017, up 8.5% from last year, with coal production forecast to total 787.9 million st in 2018.

US power sector coal consumption is expected to total 675.4 million st in 2017, down 0.3% from last year, and 682.4 million st in 2018.

Exports are forecast to reach 82.4 million st (74.8 million mt) in 2017, up 36.7% from last year, while totaling 72.7 million st (66 million mt) in 2018.

The EIA expects total US dry gas production to average 73.4 Bcf/d in 2017, up 1.6% from last year, and 78.9 Bcf/d in 2018. Gas consumption is projected to average 73.1 Bcf/d in 2017, down 2.8% from last year, and 76.9 Bcf/d in 2018.

In terms of gas exports, the EIA expects LNG shipments to total 1.94 Bcf/d in 2017, and 3.03 Bcf/d in 2018, while pipeline exports are expected to total 6.79 Bcf/d in 2017 and 7.38 Bcf/d in 2018.

--Andrew Moore,

--Edited by Richard Rubin,