Murray to buy CONSOL mines

CANONSBURG – CONSOL Energy is selling its Consolidation Coal Co. subsidiary and five West Virginia mines to Murray Coal Co., refocusing its attention on gas production in the Marcellus shale region.

The deal includes two local mines, McElroy in Cameron and Shoemaker in Benwood, as well as Robinson Run Mine, Loveridge Mine and Blacksville No. 2, which, collectively, produced 28.5 million tons of thermal coal in 2012, as well as 1.1 billion tons of Pittsburgh No. 8 seam reserves.

Also included are CONSOL’s river and dock operations. In 2012, its fleet of 21 towboats and 600 barges transported 19.3 million tons of coal and other commodities along the upper Ohio River system.

The sale enhances CONSOL Energy’s ability to grow its gas production, enabling the company to extend its gas growth production targets beyond 2014, CONSOL officials said in a release issued early this morning.

“In advancing our E&P growth strategy, we expect that West Virginia will continue to play an important role,” said CONSOL?Chairman J. Brett Harvey. “We have a sizeable Marcellus shale footprint in West Virginia, which will take a significant amount of labor and capital to develop.”

Aggregate value of the deal is roughly $3.5 billion, with $850 million in cash to be paid at closing.