Consol Cuts 10 Percent of Staff Amid Slumping Gas, Coal

Consol Energy Inc., a U.S. producer of coal and natural gas, is cutting about 10 percent of its staff amid a continued slump in prices for the fuels.

The company will fire 290 workers in its gas and corporate divisions and another 180 workers from its coal operations, company spokesman Brian Aiello said in an e-mail Tuesday.

“These are very difficult but prudent decisions, given the depressed nature of commodity prices,” Aiello said.

Consol has increasingly relied on gas for revenue in recent years, taking advantage of booming demand for the fuel and becoming a major player in the Marcellus and Utica shale regions. The Canonsburg, Pennsylvania-based company on June 30 placed its coal operations in a so-called master-limited partnership called CNX Coal Resources LP.

MLPs pay no federal income tax as long as they distribute most of their cash to shareholders.

U.S. coal producers have cut thousands of jobs this year in hopes of staying afloat amid the industry’s worst downturn in decades. The thermal coal used by power plants is under pressure from low-cost gas and tougher emissions standards.

Consol is not idling any of its coal mines, Aiello said.

Shares in Consol, down 40 percent this year, ticked up 1.5 percent to $20.21 at 1:13 p.m. in New York trading.

CNX Coal Resources fell 0.6 percent to $15.65.

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