ENERGY BRIEFS

ENERGY BRIEFS

US REFINERS EYE

NORTH SEA FORTIES CRUDE

NEW YORK - U.S. refiners see increasingly available North Sea Forties crude oil as an attractive source for production of low-sulfur distillates, industry sources

said.

Forties' 0.3 percent sulfur content fits in meeting the stringent low- sulfur U.S. environmental requirements for diesel fuel and other middle distillates.

Moreover, a recent study by Royal Dutch/Shell pointed to Forties as having the greatest jet fuel yield - near 25 percent a barrel - compared with Brent, next highest at 20 percent.

The yield differences are even greater compared with Middle East crudes such as Arab Heavy.

Meanwhile, the greater availability of Forties in recent months has led Forties producers to competitively price that crude in sales to U.S. refiners.

US COAL OUTPUT FELL

IN LAST WEEK OF OCTOBER

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Domestic coal production totaled 18.4 million tons during the

week ended Oct. 30., down 5 percent from the 19.4 million tons produced in the same week a year earlier, the U.S. Department of Energy said.

Wyoming ranked first among the 27 coal-producing states with

3.6 million tons produced, according to the department's Energy Information Administration.

Kentucky was second at 2.7 million tons and West Virginia was third at 2.5 million tons, the agency said.

In Indiana, some 821,000 tons was produced during the week, bringing the annual production to 31.4 million tons.

The figure reflects an increase from the 535,000 tons produced during the corresponding week of 1992 that brought last year's annual production to 30,726.

U.S. coal production so far this year is 790 million tons, about 5 percent behind last year's production at this time.