CNX Gas Corp. plans to use the bulk of its 2008 capital budget to target natural gas deposits in the Marcellus, Huron, Chattanooga and New Albany shales, as well as the Trenton Black River this year. In the Marcellus Shale, CNX has a leasehold that includes about 161,000 acres. In Kentucky and Virginia’s Huron Shale CNX holds another 193,000 acre-leasehold. Tennessee’s Chattanooga Shale holdings number about 132,000 acres, and in the New Albany Shale play, which extends into Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois, CNX has about 300,000 acres. The Pittsburgh-based company said that overall, exploration spending will jump 35% to $470 million from $348.6 million in 2007. Of the total, $377 million directed toward drilling, midstream and land operations in the company’s Virginia and Pennsylvania coalbed methane (CBM) development projects. Besides its gas shale plays, CNX also will be developing its holdings in the Trenton Black River, which is “thought to underlie nearly all of the Appalachian shales,” the company said. In that leasehold, “CNX Gas believes it has 486,000 acres with Trenton Black River potential.”

Energy efficiency measures taken by the Nevada Public Utilities Commission (PUC) at its operations last year reduced electricity and natural gas consumption at the commission by 23% and 25%, respectively, generating $7,800 in savings. A PUC spokesperson said many of the agency’s conservation measures came from a building optimization assessment that Sierra Pacific Resources’ utility Sierra Pacific Power Co. helped conduct as well as a survey that identified energy-use behavior by PUC employees. Some of the low-tech measures adopted were as basic as putting on a sweater, opening/closing office blinds and turning off lights when leaving rooms. Other measures included replacing less efficient appliances with Energy Star-rated products, installing programmable thermostats and motion-sensing lights and reducing overhead lighting. The PUC said overall it had “minimal out-of-pocket expenses and substantial savings,” noting that companies in Nevada are eligible for energy-saving credits through Sierra Pacific Power‘s “Sure Bet” program, which pays businesses for qualifying energy efficiency upgrades.

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