David Guthrie, President and CEO of Consolidated Energy revealed that the Company has activated its natural gas and oil well drilling and exploration efforts and plans to initiate drilling its first group of wells by mid-June, 2004. "This additional activity is consistent with the long term planning of CEI to become a multifaceted energy supplier," Guthrie said. These wells will be drilled on leases presently held by the company. The initial wells are already under permit and additional permits are being prepared in the Central Appalachian region of Eastern Kentucky. "Eastern Kentucky has historically been an enormous supplier of natural gas and still contains some of the most abundant gas reserves in the nation," Guthrie said. Several energy speculators have suggested that the recent natural gas pricing, which has been very favorable to gas suppliers, will remain strong for quite some time. Guthrie also added, "The plans of CEI are to continue the further acquisition of gas and oil leases for further exploration, development and production in the region."
CEI, through its wholly owned subsidiary, ECEI, began under ground coal production in September of 2003 at Warfield Kentucky. ECEI has applied for four surface mining permits in Martin County near its underground operation. ECEI is presently waiting for the issuance of the applied for permits in order to begin surface mine production.