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Coal Train

A train transports coal Tuesday from a mine south of Gillette. Production is more modest than it once was, but it’s also much better than it was in 2016, when power companies were not buying coal.

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Last week in numbers

Friday oil prices: West Texas Intermediate (WTI) $63.14, Brent (ICE) $72.83

Natural gas weekly averages: Henry Hub $3.24, Wyoming Pool $3.03, Opal $3.05

Baker Hughes rig count: U.S. 1,067, Wyoming 30

Quote of the Week 

“What the future holds I’m not sure. It’s kind of hush, hush, but it’s scary."

-- Rep. Stan Blake, D-Green River, the state legislative director for SMART, a transportation union.


Following Cloud Peak Energy's earnings last week -- where the company came out ahead by cutting benefits for retirees -- Peabody Energy noted its gains for the third quarter. 

The St. Louis-based company reported $71.5 million in net income. In a call with investors, executives punted on a curious question -- what would happen to pricing if Peabody just cut its production in the PRB in half?

Meanwhile, the oil and gas players Anadarko Petroleum and EOG Resources were all roses about Wyoming's Powder River Basin. EOG's earnings beat expectations and the firm is continuing with its plans to lay out infrastructure and explore difficult formations. Anadarko is staring down the Colorado initiative that would increase setbacks. 

In other news …

Wyoming is one of seven states that will double its wind capacity if the wind in development and under construction comes to fruition.

The New York Times visited Wyoming's Powder River Basin in a story about Trump's direction on federal energy policy. It notes some of the gains made in the PRB, and some of the policy changes that are smoothing the way for the developers of on federal land. But the story falls short of addressing the driving factors in the Powder, from the price of crude to the long run up of activity that stalled during the downturn. 

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Follow energy reporter Heather Richards on Twitter @hroxaner


Energy Reporter

Heather Richards writes about energy and the environment. A native of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, she moved to Wyoming in 2015 to cover natural resources and government in Buffalo. Heather joined the Star Tribune later that year.

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