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Consol Energy hones in its focus on two counties

After releasing its first-quarter reports, Consol Energy has decided to shrink its focus in Ohio to only two counties.

During last quarter, Consol focused much of its drilling in five counties in the Utica and Marcellus Shale formations. Two of the counties were in Pennsylvania, one in West Virginia and two in Ohio.  The two remaining Ohio counties were Noble and Monroe.  Noble operations focused on wet gas development and Monroe operations concentrated on dry gas operations.

As reported by the Columbus Business First, during last year, when commodity prices were double what they are now, Consol was considering multiple counties within Ohio for drilling operations.  However, even though the company has managed to set gas production records, its first-quarter profit fell by 32 percent.  The drop in profit and decrease in commodity prices has caused Consol to reconsider expanding into more Ohio counties.

Currently, Consol has around 614,000 acres in the Utica Shale; 118,000 of them are located in Ohio.  Consol has also pushed its switch from coal to natural gas development over the last year, mainly focusing on the Appalachian Shale region.  The company has recently developed a new strategy that involves selling coal and natural gas to the same utility based upon its electrical generation demands.

The change in the company is due to environmental regulations pushing older coal-fired power plant to close.

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