U.S. coal production averaged 192 million short tons (MMst) per quarter in the first half of 2017, a slight decrease from the second half of 2016, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Tuesday.
The EIA said that despite the decrease, that production is still above levels reached in the first half of 2016.
The country's average coal production was 167 MMst per quarter in the first half of 2016 and 197 MMst per quarter in the second half of 2016, according to the quarterly coal report of the EIA.
The Administration said that the recent decline in production was a result of weaker demand for steam coal, about half of which is mined in Wyoming and Montana.
EIA also highlighted that the demand for steam coal, which in the first half of 2017 made up more than 90 percent of U.S. coal production, is driven by coal-fired electricity generation.
"In recent years, coal has lost part of its electricity generation share to other fuels, but it still accounted for 30 percent of the U.S. electricity generation mix in the first half of 2017 compared with natural gas and renewables (including hydro) at 31 percent and 20 percent, respectively," the EIA explained.
By Ebru Sengul