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Last week in numbers
Friday oil prices: West Texas Intermediate (WTI) $57.26 Brent (ICE) 67.12
Natural gas weekly averages: Henry Hub $2.68, Wyoming Pool $7.38, Opal $7.40
Baker Hughes rig count: U.S. 1,047, Wyoming 37
Quote of the Week
“I guarantee you that there is no one at that mine that has a goddamn thing to do with this bankruptcy."
Kim McKee, a retiree of the Kemmerer coal mine who spent 41 years in the mines near town.
Last week was filled with coal news at the Star-Tribune, particularly from southwest Wyoming where the Kemmerer mine is going through an upheaval.
The 4 million ton per year mine is poised to pass to new ownership as the Westmoreland Coal Company bankruptcy limps ahead. A newcomer to Wyoming coal, Virginia businessman Tom Clarke put in the sole bid for the mine, killing a scheduled auction.
Pending conditions in a purchase agreement, Clarke will take over Kemmerer for $7.5 million in cash at closing, a $112.5 million senior secured promissory note and a $95 million junior secured promissory note.
In 2011, the mine was sold to Westmoreland by Chevron Mining Inc for $74 million in cash and $118 in liabilities.
The Westmoreland bankruptcy has shaken the mining community in western Wyoming. The mine and the power plant it feeds face uncertainty that could significantly impact the towns of Kemmerer and Diamondville.
The bankruptcy has also dealt a blow to miners. A recent decision by a bankruptcy judge will cut retirees benefits and eliminate the union's contract.
For a compilation of the most pertinent recent Star-Tribune stories about the Westmoreland bankruptcy, see here.
Cloud peak cuts jobs
The cuts included most of the government affairs staff and the budget for that department. Public relations for Cloud Peak will be scaled down to local production and operations information, the company told the Star-Tribune.
Cloud Peak is currently under financial pressure and has hired outside consultants to advise the firm on a path forward, including contemplation of a sale.